Landscape Imagery and Urban Culture in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain
Britain in the early nineteenth century, then the most advanced bourgeois society, saw the emergence of a new type of landscape painting, distinguished by its modern imagery and innovative naturalism. The transition was not straightforward; painters were faced with the problem of representing modern life within the landscape tradition, a tradition centred on the pastoral and the picturesque. It is the various methods by which artists negotiated this problem that provides the focus for this study. Andrew Hemingway interprets landscape painting of this period as an essentially urban phenomenon and demonstrates the ways in which painters sought to incorporate images of modern life into the tradition of landscape painting. Works by Turner, Constable and Crome, as well as many lesser known artists, are placed within the context of the London exhibition scene and the social world of the metropolis. Different class attitudes towards art and towards landscape painting in particular are explored through an analysis of contemporary art theory and criticism. The author draws upon the topographical literature of the period, as well as on poetry and social history, to illustrate his extensive account of landscape imagery: the seaside resort, the river and other scenes of modern leisure.
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