jeudi 2 juin 2011

A Hard Singing of Country.

Shadow at the woods edge. 10:30 a.m.

From morning to evening. oil on canvas. 80x80 cms.

Nature is only an idea said Delacriox. Can we accept that landscape is not an object that exists but something created by our culture and our minds?

Landscape was once frightening, the place of dragons, bears, robbers, the unknown. To be travelled through in a carriage with the blinds drawn: too terrible to look at.

In feudal times landscape was a word in political usage, as donating land as belonging to a castle or a town. Later painters began to use the term in a more general sense unrelated to a specific feudal unit but simply as a beautiful landscape.

The word was then adopted by travellers and tourists who discovered beautiful landscapes everywhere which corresponded to those previously seen in paintings or had elaborated in the imagination. Writers described and constructed landscapes which had an even greater element of the universal: these were seductive in that readers could combine them with their own unpainted landscapes.

With these pictures and a sense of geography landscapes took on a new meaning, closer to the most ancient: landscapes are the defined places where we pass our holidays, landscapes are special then, but can pass from the timeless, charming, sweet remembered hills to an object of fashion and obsolescence.

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