Nature And Culture: American Landscape And Painting, 1825-1875 With A New Preface
Nature and Culture: American Landscape and Painting, 1825-1875 With a New Preface
In this richly illustrated volume, including a number of stunning color prints, Barbara Novak explains that for fifty extraordinary years, American society bestowed in the idea of Nature its most cherished ideals. Between 1825 and 1875 all kinds of Americans--artists, writers, scientists, as well as everyday citizens--believed that God in Nature could resolve human contradictions, and that nature itself confirmed the American destiny. During these years Nature, God, and Man converged to become a trinity, and it was through the landscape painters, the leaders of this intellectual movement, that the nation was reminded of divine benevolence "by keeping before their eyes the mountains, trees, forests, and lakes." Using diaries and letters of the artists as well as quotes from literary texts, journals, and periodicals, Novak illuminates the range of ideas projected on to the American landscape by painters such as Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Edwin Church, Asher B. Durand, Fitz Hugh Lane, and Martin J. Heade, and writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, William Wordsworth, Théodore Rousseau, and Frederich Wilhelm Schelling.
Adding a rich new dimension to the discussion of nature's influence on the...