Common Land in English Painting, 1700-1850

Common Land in English Painting, 1700-1850

Ian Waites

Hardback
$99.00

Boydell Press

Overview

Overview

An examination of the treatment of common land in the work of English painters, at a time when much of it was to disappear forever.
A most elegantly written book that calmly knocked many entrenched but erroneous notions about British landscape painting firmly on the head. Longlisted and commended by the judges of the 2013 William M. B. Berger prize for British art history.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, much of England's common land was eradicated by the processes of parliamentary enclosure. However, despite the fact that the landscape was frequently viewed as unproductive, outmoded and unsightly, many British landscape painters of the time - including Constable, Gainsborough and Turner - resolutely continued to depict it.
This book is the first full study of how they did so, using evidence drawn not only from art-historical picture analysis, but from contemporary poems and novels, and the contemporary pamphlets, essays and reports that advanced the rhetoric of both agricultural improvement and new theories on landscape aesthetics. It highlights a deep-rooted social and cultural attachment to the common field landscape, and demonstrates that common land played a significant but - until now - underestimated role in both the history of English art and of the formation of an English national identity, reflecting what are still highly sensitive issues of progress, nostalgia and loss within the English countryside. Recasting common land as a recurrent facet of English culture in the modern period, the numerous paintings, drawings and prints featured in this book give the reader a comprehensive and evocative sense of what this now almost wholly lost landscape looked like in its hey-day.

Ian Waites is Senior Lecturer in History of Art and Design at the University of Lincoln.

Details

October 2012
30 colour, 42 black and white illustrations
208 pages
24.4x17.2 cm
Garden and Landscape History
ISBN: 9781843837619
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press
BIC ACQ, 1DBKE, 2AB, 3JF
BISAC ART015030, ART020000
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Table of Contents

Introduction: 'The scenery of common ground'
The Prospect
Idylls
Drawn from Nature
Aesthetics and Perceptions
Loss
The urban scene
Conclusion: Common land, the 'old culture' and the modern world
Bibliography

Reviews

Recommended for filling a gap which students of British landscape painting may have noticed. BURLINGTON MAGAZINE

An exciting and informative book which opens up new approaches to studying and understanding open field agriculture. BARS Bulletin

Offer(s) fertile ground to further research. LANDSCAPE HISTORY

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