Seeing the World Anew: the emergence of landscape in Art

at the National Gallery, London

With Mary Attwood

Saturday 3rd December 2022,

10:00am – 2:00pm 

“The eye must not rest on the appearances of nature itself,

or on the surface qualities of the work of art,

but see through them to something sublime beyond.”  

Iain McGilchrist


OverviewDuring this visit to the National Gallery in London, we will explore the emergence of landscape in art with a particular (but not sole) focus on Claude Lorrain, Gainsborough, Constable and Turner. Psychiatrist and literary scholar, Dr Iain McGilchrist, writes that the arts in general, and the ways in which they change over a period of time, can tell us about the history of ideas. Visual art in particular presents in a beautifully sensory and visceral way, how we have seen ourselves in relationship to the natural world over time, and our sense of belonging to it. Each of these artists were innovators in unique ways and created ripples which influenced the Impressionists and other leading artists in the decades and centuries that followed, forever altering the window on the world that art shows us – and how we might consider ourselves in relationship to the world.

Outline – I have selected a small number of paintings to really take our time with, allowing for theoretical/ historical as well as emotional and philosophical frameworks and responses. After lunch, you will then go and explore on your own and find one landscape painting of your choice to write about, sketch, contemplate or just look deeply into it and consider any ways in which it helps you see the world differently – or perhaps how others – or the artist did. Bring a note book, pencils and / or pens if you want to write or sketch (I will bring some spare ones too), but if you just want to take part without, please feel free. After the visit, I will suggest that you write about your reflections on the day, your responses and your personal choice of painting. This is not compulsory but encouraged as it will help you assimilate your thoughts and feelings about the paintings or painting.
Please note lunch is not included in the booking fee.

Numbers will be limited. £40 per person


Note: If you have accessibility needs, the gallery does have a lift.

To book this event, please visit Mary’s website directly by clicking here.


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