paintng by John Constable

John Constable, View from Hampstead Heath, Manchester City Galleries

Mrs Lynne Gibson BEd MA

Upper Brown Street Theatre
16 Upper Brown Street, Leicester LE1 5TE

Landscape is such a popular theme that it is hard to imagine a time it did not exist, yet western artists have struggled to make it an acceptable subject. Henry Fuseli just grumbled that all he thought about in front of one of Constable’s paintings was running for his great coat and umbrella! In the Middle Ages it barely featured in European art. During the Renaissance it was just a backdrop. But Dutch, British, then French, artists brought landscape into its own: idealised, pastoral, romantic, rural, impressionistic and sublime.

Landscape is still as popular as ever, but it hardly ever wins the Turner Prize. What has happened to landscape art in our age of urban living and environmental anxiety? This lecture will trace the relationship between artists and the landscape through western art.