Cole’s epic four-part series Voyage of Life weaves the theme of the four ages of man with the four seasons and the four times of day. It also touches on the Christian doctrine of resurrection. The painting shows a man who, stripped of his possessions, turns finally to prayer in a time of turbulence and uncertainty. Cole wrote of this painting that the forms in the sky represented suicide, intemperance, and murder. The man’s guardian angel shining from the upper corner gives hope for salvation.