The Course of Empire
Foundation
The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity—a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop.
· Isaac Asimov
The Course of Empire is a series of five paintings created by Thomas Cole in the years 1833–1836. The Course of Empire comprises the following works.
The Savage State

The Arcadian or Pastoral State

The Consummation of Empire

Destruction

Desolation
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