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Title: From tradition to modernism : British landscape painting in the postwar period
Author: Antal Mavity, Imola
ISNI:       0000 0004 2669 7563
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2008
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In the immediate aftermath of the war which threatened sovereignty, fractured geographical and political identities and cultures and left the land scarred and damaged, landscape became invested with deep and special significance. During this time, Romanticism unsurprisingly re-flourished and the first psychological accounts of the phenomenology of place and space started appearing. Landscape painting became a visual manifestation of national identity which had acquired a great meaning in these circumstances. Whilst relying on established notions of the British visual tradition, the introspective nature of wartime Neo-Romanticism ultimately allowed for the liberation of landscape painting from ideological constraints and the ease with which it assimilated modernism. War not only strengthened the idea of place and the landscape as a redemptive genre, but equally, in a counter direction, it encouraged the idea that art should set itself apart from society entirely, either as a perceptual investigation divorced from social enquiry, or as complete formalism. Modernism had brought a new emphasis on aesthetic appreciation and a reaction against mythical, historical and narrative tendencies in traditional landscapes. The work of Monet and Cézanne was redefined in a contemporary context and British artists, such as Lanyon, Heron and Frost, influenced by European and American postwar modernist models started experimenting with new approaches to landscape. In view of these foreign influences, the need to establish the existence of a strong, innovative home-grown avant-garde became imperative. As institutional support in the arts increased, regional cultural communities such as St Ives were rejuvenated and British art started being promoted abroad. This thesis demonstrates that landscape painting was an enduring and adaptable genre which significantly contributed to the integration of British art into modernism.
Supervisor: Kear, Jon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: ND Painting