"Savage State," The, or "Commencement of Empire", (painting)
Appears in exhibition catalog as entry no. 14
"A series of five pictures, illustrating a nation's rise, prog- ress, greatness, decline and fall, and the consequent changes in the same landscape. Note. The isolated rock crowning a pre- ciptious hill in the distance, identifies the scene in each of the series, but the observer's position varies in several pict- ures. 'First freedom and then glory, when that fails,/ wealth, vice, corruption.' the sun is rising from the sea, over a wild scene of rocks, forests and mountains, dissipating the clouds and darkness of night. Man, attired in skins, is seen engaged in the wild dance and the chase, the characterisitic occupations of savage life. In this picture, we have the first rudiments of society. men have banded together for mutual aid. the useful arts have commenced in the construction of the canoe, the weapon and the hut, and we may imagine the germs of two of the fine arts, music and poetry, in the singing usually accompanying the dance of the savage. the empire is asserted, to a limited extent, over sea, land and the animal kingdom. it is the season of spring, - the morning of the nation's existence." [P. 8.]
Catalogue of the Exhibition of the New-York Gallery of the Fine Arts. Founded 1844. Now open in the large Saloon of the National Academy of Design, corner of Broadway and Leonard-Street. New York: James Van Norden & Co, Printers, No. 60 William-Street. 1844.