The Edge of Doom
In The Edge of Doom, Samuel Colman imagines the destruction of (Western) civilization. Known for spectacular, apocalyptic imagery, here Colman portrays bolts of lightning striking erratically, blasting classical and Gothic buildings, carriages, paintings, and even the figure of Time (tumbling with an hourglass and scythe) into a central glowing void. All that survives is the memorial sculpture of William Shakespeare, then and now on view in London’s Westminster Abbey.
Oil on canvas
54 x 78 1/2 in. (137.2 x 199.4 cm)
Frame: 72 x 96 x 7 1/2 in. (182.9 x 243.8 x 19.1 cm) (show scale)
Signed and dated lower right: "S. Colman 1836" and "S. Colman 1838"
Inscribed lower center, on plinth:
"The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And like the baseless fabric of a vision,
Leave not a rack behind"
Text from Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act IV, Scene 1, lines 151-156.
Bequest of Laura L. Barnes, by exchange
This item is not on view
Samuel Colman (British, 1780-1845). The Edge of Doom, 1836-1838. Oil on canvas, 54 x 78 1/2 in. (137.2 x 199.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Laura L. Barnes, by exchange, 69.130 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 69.130_SL1.jpg)
overall, 69.130_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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