Thursday, August 18, 2005

18th and 19th Century English Landscape

Between the mid-eighteenth century and the end of the nineteenth century English landscape painting went through a number of transitions that reflected society's view of the countryside and how it could be represented. Two images highlight some of the issues faced by artists. For example, the balance between painting a picture that would sell and the representation of the rural poor. The image above is Noon by Francis Wheatley (1799) and the second is a photograph of gleaners. I intend to explore the ways in which the landscape, agriculture and rural workers were represented and how this might be related to changes in society and the role of art. Gleaners 1857 (copyright Hulton Deutsch Collection, London) (Note that gleaners visited the cornfields after harvesting and picked up any stalks that have been left behind. In the 18th century gleaning was a way for the very poor to scratch a living. In the 19th century farmers started to rack the fields and began to regard gleaners as taking what belonged to them.) The various types and stages of the development of the landscape:
  • Claudian landscape
  • Picturesque landscape
  • Representations of the rural poor
  • "Merry England" Realistic landscapes
  • Landscapes and nationalism
  • Arcadian landscape
  • Georgic landscape
  • Enclosure Acts
  • Corn Laws and Poor Laws

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