The Edge of Doom
On View: Beaux-Arts Court, East, 3rd Floor
In The Edge of Doom, Samuel Colman paints the ultimate disaster: the destruction of the world. Lightning was particularly suited for evoking the emotions of awe and terror associated with the Sublime notion of nature. Here, it strikes erratically, blasting classical buildings, carriages, paintings, and even Time (a figure with an hourglass and scythe) to create 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
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact email@example.com
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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
overall, 69.130_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.