Constructing the English Landscape Tradition: the Discursive Formation of the $English School$ in the Nineteenth Century(3/3)

Project Details


After almost fifty years of the establishment of the Royal Academy of Arts, the early nineteenthcentury saw the first appearance of publications promoting the achievements of the “EnglishSchool” as well as exhibitions of eighteenth-century English Old Masters. This indicated that theEnglish society was eager to see the formation of the English School tradition. The genre oflandscape painting was then and has since been regarded as the strength of the English School;moreover, when the “New Art History” appeared in the 1980s, one of the topics under hot debatewas eighteenth-century landscape painting. This is a three-year project, which aims to explore how the “English School” tradition, especiallythe development and characteristics of the eighteenth-century English landscape painting, wasconstructed in the nineteenth century. In the first year I will trace the development of the EnglishSchool discourse by analyzing nineteenth-century art-historical writings, compendia ofreproductive prints, and exhibitions of the Old Masters. In the second year I will explore how thedevelopment and characteristics of the eighteenth-century landscape painting were presented anddiscussed in the nineteenth-century publications and exhibitions so as to build the Englishlandscape tradition. In the third year the evaluations of four eighteenth-century landscapepainters – George Lambert, Richard Wilson, Thomas Gainsborough, and Paul Sandby – in thenineteenth-century will be compared, so as to examine the changing concepts and discourses oflandscape painting in different historical periods, thus responding to the question of constructingthe English landscape tradition.Currently there is no systematic research on the construction of the English School discourses andespecially the English landscape tradition in the nineteenth century. In addition to expounding thehistorical context of the discursive formation of the English School and English landscapetradition, this project is also a reflection on art historiography, aiming to clarify how the history ofEnglish painting (landscape painting in particular) assumes its present-day form.
Effective start/end date1/08/1831/01/20

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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