What is landscape? How does it differ from 'land'? Does landscape always imply something to be pictured, a scene? When and why did we begin to cherish images of nature? What is 'nature'? Is it everything that isn't art, or artefact? This book explores many fascinating issues raised by thegreat range of ideas and images of the natural world in Western art since the Renaissance. Using a thematic structure many issues are examined, for instance: landscape as a cultural construct; the relationship between landscape as accessory or backdrop and landscape as the chief subject; landscapeas constituted by various practices of framing; the sublime and ideas of indeterminacy; landscape art as picturesque or as exploration of living processes. These issues are raised and explored in connection with Western cultural movements, and within a full international and historical context. Manyforms of landscape art are included: painting, gardening, panorama, poetry, photography, and art. The book is designed to both take stock of recent interdisciplinary debates and act as a stimulus to rethinking our assumptions about landscape.
"Michael Sullivan is a master stylist. . . . His is one of those rare texts that take on the important task of assimilating the humanistic heritage of the East with our own heritage in the West."--Martin J. Powers, University of Michigan
This is a provocative essay of reflections on traditional mainstream scholarship on Chinese art as done by towering figures in the field such as James Cahill and Wen Fong. James Elkins offers an engaging and accessible survey of his personal journey encountering and interpreting Chinese art through Western scholars' writings. He argues that the search for optimal comparisons is itself a modern, Western interest, and that art history as a discipline is inherently Western in several identifiable senses. Although he concentrates on art history in this book, and on Chinese painting in particular, these issues bear implications for Sinology in general, and for wider questions about humanistic inquiry and historical writing. Jennifer Purtle's Foreword provides a useful counterpoint from the perspective of a Chinese art specialist, anticipating and responding to other specialists’ likely reactions to Elkins's hypotheses.
This richly illustrated book examines the legacy of Greek mythology in Western art from the classical era to the present. Tracing the emergence, survival, and transformation of key mythological figures and motifs from ancient Greece through the modern era, it explores the enduring importance of such myths for artists and viewers in their own time and over the millennia that followed.
Wonder has an established link to the history and philosophy of science. However, there is little acknowledgement of the relationship between the visual arts and wonder. This book presents a new perspective on this overlooked connection, allowing a unique insight into the role of wonder in contemporary visual practice. Artists, curators and art theorists give accounts of their approach to wonder through the use of materials, objects and ways of exhibiting. These accounts not only raise issues of a particular relevance to the way in which we encounter our reality today but ask to what extent artists utilize the function of wonder purposely in their work.
An exploration of the way English literature has interacted with architectural edifices and the development of landscape as a national style from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century. Analyzing texts in relation to cultural artefacts, each chapter demonstrates the self-conscious production of English consciousness as its most enduring history.
Critical introductions to a range of literary topics and genres. Landscape and Literature introduces students to the exploration of different ways in which landscape has been represented in literature. It focuses on key aspects of this topic such as the importance of pastoral, contrasts between city and country, eighteenth-century developments from neo-classical to picturesque and Romantic ideas of the sublime, regional novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and varied styles of twentieth-century poetry from the Georgian poets to Heaney and Hughes. Poems and prose extracts from writers such as Marvell, Wordsworth, George Eliot, Hardy, Lawrence and Seamus Heaney are included.
The most authoritative single-volume resource on Western art features forty-eight stunning color plates and 2,600 alphabetically arranged entries exploring art theory, scholarship, and criticism, from the ancient Greeks to Foucault.
The idea of nature as a cultural construction has been discussed extensively in postmodern theory. Less attention, however, has been paid to the underlying motivations shaping the ideologies of nature, in particular the desire to submit to some larger order outside of oneself. Aspiring to the Landscape examines this persistent desire and how it is made manifest in contemporary landscape art. Four installations of large-scale paintings by Canadian artists Eleanor Bond, Susan Feindel, Stephen Hutchings, and Wanda Koop are the focus of Petra Halkes's study. The works vary widely in style and iconography but are drawn together by the way they invite a reflection on the troubled relationship between culture and nature and our contradictory and simultaneous longing to conquer and to succumb to nature. It is the tension between modern and postmodern interpretations of the subject of nature that makes the theory and the artwork discussed in Aspiring to the Landscape so important to contemporary Canadian culture.