Events | ‘The Great Outdoors’ – Our Green & Pleasant Land

  • Location: Soho Farmhouse, 1 Tracey Farm Cottages, Great Tew, Chipping Norton OX7 4JS
  • Date: 16.10.18 | 7:00pm
  • Book Now: Please note that this is a members only event: contact

The genre of the landscape holds a special place in the history of the Western artistic canon. Not established as an official category of art in its own right until the early nineteenth-century; as per the theatrical backdrop, landscape vistas tended to serve as subsidiary settings for Biblical or Mythological subjects in paintings, as epitomised in the work of artistic heavyweights Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain. The ‘veduta ideata’, whilst topographically inaccurate, raised awareness as to the pastoral setting as a spiritual vehicle, leading to a fuller celebration of less Arcadian and Utopian visions of the natural world in the eighteenth century in the works of Thomas Gainsborough, for example. Edmund Burke’s seminal treatise ‘A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful’ published in 1757, prompted a more untamed natural setting in paintings, dubbed by the poet Alexander Pope ‘calculate naturalness’. Lord Burlington and his circle paved the way forwards in terms of the Landscape Garden Movement in the eighteenth-century in aping Antiquity in Chiswick with the Palladian mode revisited. It was during nineteenth-century Romanticism, however, that Landscape as a genre in the arts really came to the fore, embodying nostalgic notions of national consciousness and God’s awesome Creation. Spurred on by the contemporary poetry of Wordsworth, Tennyson, Keats et al, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood arguably pre-empted the Impressionists’ preoccupation with en plain airism and a pursuit of ephemerality. With a quick surf through the War Artists’ portrayals of an apocalyptic wasteland in the early twentieth-century, this broad-sweeping panoramic approach to the Landscape as a genre culminates in the epics of that bastion of Britishness, David Hockney.

Please call Members’ Events on T: +44 (1608) 691000 to secure a place