-Landscape in the 19th century became a genre of its own
-Increasing tourism contributed to its popularity
-The notion of the picturesque became particularly resonant in the Romantic era and in the 19th century especially
in Northern Europe they shared this sentiment
-In landscape artists found an ideal subject to express the Romantic theme of the soul unified with the natural
-All nature was mysteriously permeated by ͞being͟ and landscape artists had the task of interpreting signs,
symbols, and emblems of universal spirit disguised with visible material things
-Artists no longer merely beheld a landscape but rather participated in its spirit becoming translators of nature͛s
transcendent meanings
The Haywain:
-By John Constable, 1821, Oil on canvas, 4͛3͟ x 6͛2͟
-After the industrial revolution there were a number of displaced farmers who could not afford to
farm their land and the artist wanted to address the agrarian situation in his works
-Shows a cottage to the left in a picturesque country landscape and in the centre there is a man
leading a horse and wagon across the stream
-There are billowy clouds in the sky and the muted greens and golds and the delicate brush strokes
add to the scenes tranquility
-The artist shows the Romantic oneness with nature and the relaxed figures are not observers but
participants in the landscape
-The artist made many studies of nature that helped him in his paintings to create a realism that won
him revere
-The artist had a gift for capturing the texture of the atmosphere caused by weather that delicately
veil what is seen
-The artist used tiny dabs of local color mixed with white and this gives his works a shimmer of light
-The painting does not show the civil unrest of the agrarian working class and the outbreaks of
violence that followed and the figures are rarely seen doing tedious labor
-The painting has a nostalgic air to it and reflects the artist͛s memories of a disappearing rural
The Slave Ship:
-By J.M.W. Turner, 1840, Oil on canvas, approx. 2͛ 12͟ x
-Artist also dealt with the encroaching industrialization but his paintings are more turbulent
-The passion and energy of his work reveal the Romantic sensibility that was the foundation for his
art and also clearly illustrate concepts of the sublime mixed with terror
-The book chronicling the event of the slave ship was written a year before the painting was made
and was the inspiration for the work
-The incident involved a captain of a slave ship who upon realizing his insurance company would
reimburse him only for slaves lost at sea but not for those who died enroute ordered the sick and
dying slaves thrown over board
-The artist͛s frenzied emotional depiction of this act matches its barbaric nature
-The artist transformed the sun into an incandescent comet amid flying clouds
-The relative scale of the miniscule human forms compared with the vast sea and the overarching sky
reinforces the sense of the sublime especially in the immense power of nature over humans
-On close inspection the viewer can discern the iron shackles on the wrists and ankles of the drowning
slaves cruelly denying them any chance of saving themselves
-The key to the artist͛s highly personal style is the emotive power of pure colour
-The haziness of the forms and the indistinctness of the composition intensifies the colours and
energetic brush strokes
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