Gainsborough, Constable, Turner
Three week Summer course
With Mary Attwood
Mondays 8th, 15th & 22nd August 2022
10am – 1pm, via Zoom
On looking at them, we find tears in our eyes
and know not what brings them.
John Constable describing Gainsborough’s landscapes
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 and about the quality of attention that is being paid to the world. Visual art in particular presents to us 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.
This three week Summer course, ‘Seeing the World Anew: The Emergence of Landscape in Art’ will have a particular focus on the work of three leading British artists; Gainsborough, Constable and Turner. We will explore how landscape became a genre in its own right and how each of these artists drew on influences from other artists in Europe, past and contemporaneous, as well as reacted to changes that were occurring in the world at the time. Each were innovators in unique ways, and they come to the forefront at a time when rapid scientific, social, political and technological changes began to alter the landscape of the Western world as it moved from the Age of Enlightenment into the industrial revolution. They looked both backwards and forwards, and through their art, conveyed an extraordinary coming together of imagination, deep seeing and social history. In turn, they 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.
Throughout this course we will draw on the broader implications of these artists’ ways of seeing the world anew through psychological and philosophical contexts as well as historical. This course will be recorded if you cannot make the scheduled time.