Warehouse 13 Artifact Database Wiki
Warehouse 13 Artifact Database Wiki
Thomas Cole's "The Course of An Empire"
The Savage State - 1836.jpg
The Savage State was the first of the five paintings.


Thomas Cole


Series of paintings


Can alter entire landscapes and cities to match the state of the environment in the painting


Extremely powerful, can devastate cities and the wilderness easily


Letting a sample of the environment touch the painting

Collected by

Warehouse 12







Date of Collection

October 17, 1895



Thomas Cole was the founder of the Hudson River School, whose work was well known for its realistic, detailed landscapes. He created a series of five paintings, known as The Course of Empire, showing the cycle of wilderness into city building and then decay. The paintings portray the growth and decline of the same valley, which is recognizable by a large boulder placed in each painting.


When a piece of the environment, like a leaf, sample of soil, piece of concrete or other material touches the painting, it changes the object’s environment into one similar in the painting. The picture in the frame swirls into an accurate representation of the area that it is directly affecting.

For the uncivilized, wild painting, it reverts the area back to its natural biome. The second painting causes colonization in wild areas, creating small, sustainable settlements. The third, portraying a city at its height, advances any city to greater prosperity. The fourth causes a very large disaster to strike the city, causing it to crumble and its residents to abandon it. The fifth painting shows an abandoned cityscape being reclaimed by nature; it will cause any city to become abandoned, no matter what state the city was in prior.

This set of paintings, especially the first, fourth and fifth, is extremely powerful, altering the local environment on a massive scale. It gained a place on the Warehouse Most Wanted List because of its tremendous and inherently dangerous abilities.

See Also