Landscape is probably the most popular type of painting, but anyone who has ever been disappointed by vacation photographs knows how difficult it is to turn a view into a picture. This book shows how artists in past centuries translated outdoor space and light into paint, and how landscape imagery evolved from mere ornament into a visual metaphor of the human condition. The story is told from its beginnings in Roman mural decoration, through the Renaissance transformation of landscape into a vehicle for feelings and ideas, to the Impressionist revolution and beyond. The continuing relevance of art to how we see the world, and our place in it, is demonstrated through a practical discussion of optics of real and painted landscape, illustrated with works from the National Gallery, London.
Published by National Gallery, London/Distributed by Yale University Press
Erika Langmuir (1931–2015) was formerly chair of art history at the Open University and was head of education at the National Gallery, London, from 1988 to 1995.
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