"The Idea of the English Landscape Painter" by Kay Dian Kriz

The Idea of the English Landscape Painter Genius as Alibi in the Early Nineteenth Century Kay Dian Kriz

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Publication date:
03 Mar 1997
Yale University Press
192 pages: 260 x 200 x 19mm
50 illustrations

English landscape painting changed dramatically during the time of Turner and Girtin - the new style of painting was seen as more natural and expressive of the imagination and character of the artist himself. The new artistic "geniuses" were hailed by critics as shining stars of a truly English school of landscape painting. In this book, Dian Kriz critically examines the emergence of the Romantic concept of the landscape genius, arguing that it was a category produced by critics, painters, and the public in opposition to other ways of thinking about the artist in the period around 1800. She places the artistic genius of the (male) landscape painter in relation to the (female) amateur, the connoisseur, the decadent Frenchman, and the entrepreneur.

"This is a highly original contribution to the subject of British romantic landscape painting. . . . Kriz contends that although the landscapist appears to represent the 'purified' essence of Englishness, evolving critique of society. Highly recommended."?Choice

"[A] beautifully illustrated book . . . insightful analysis of the discursive construction of genius."?Denise Blake Oleksijczuk, Art History

"Kay Dian Kriz's book is an illuminating analysis of the place that landscape painting and landscape painters held within the evolving nationalistic discourse of aesthetics in the early nineteenth century. . . . A fresh and insightful look at the familiar territory of early-nineteenth-century landscape painting. . . . It is a book that will remake our understanding of the romantic idea of 'genius' and for this reason is essential reading for cultural and art historians."?Ann Bermingham, Eighteenth-Century Studies

"This well-illustrated volume tells the story of the emergence, during the Napoleonic era, of a distinctly 'English school' of landscape painting. . . . An interesting, important complement to the more interdisciplinary studies of Barrell, Bermingham, and Hemingway."?Patrick Brantlinger, Nineteenth-Century Prose