SCORN FOR LANDSCAPES IN OTHER CENTURIES.

SCORN FOR LANDSCAPES IN OTHER CENTURIES. I posted here on Jackie Wullschlager’s observation that “Landscape in 20th and 21st century art is less than unfashionable – it has dropped off the radar screen.” Landscape was also held in low regard at the beginning of the nineteenth century. This review in the March 21 Economist of Martin Gayford’s new biography of Constable says that “Landscape painting ranked low in the hierarchy of genres, especially Constable’s kind: fields, mills, towpaths—mere ‘map-work’, scoffed J.H. Fuseli, professor at the Royal Academy.” I think a lot depends on how narrowly the subject of a landscape is defined. Constable himself, as the review points out, “once corrected someone who had called a painting of his ‘only a picture of a house’, by pointing out that it was a picture ‘of a summer’s morning, including a house.’” One reason for the power of Constable’s landscapes is his feeling for the subject matter. He wrote, “old rotten planks, slimy posts, and brickwork, I love such things.”

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One Response to SCORN FOR LANDSCAPES IN OTHER CENTURIES.

  1. Mary Jane Schaefer says:

    Just tonight, emerging after dark from a grocery store run, Annalisa and I encountered the most amazing night sky — dark blue with a spray of light blue webs shooting upwards. We had been discussing a problem, and, all of a sudden, were overwhelmed by this beauty. The sky over a shopping center is not a landscape, exactly, and certainly not a painting, but it made its point.

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