Tuesday, 17 May 2011

This Green and Pleasant Land

BBC iPlayer - This Green and Pleasant Land - The Story of British Landscape Painting
If anybody else, like me, forgot that tonight was the night that This Green and Pleasant Land - The Story of British Landscape Painting was on here's the iplayer link for the download

I caught the last half an hour and was gutted that I missed the beginning - until I remembered the joy of the BBC iPlayer!

Here's the blurb - which will surely make all those who can't get iPlayer as sick as parrots!

400 years of art history in 90 minutes? This film takes an eclectic group of people from all walks of life, including artists, critics and academics, out into the countryside to take a look at how we have depicted our landscape in art, discovering how the genre carried British painting to its highest eminence and won a place in the nation's heart. 

From Flemish beginnings in the court of Charles I to the digital thumbstrokes of David Hockney's iPad, the paintings reveal as much about the nation's past as they do the patrons and artists who created them. Famous names sit alongside lesser-known works, covering everything from the refined sensibilities of 18th-century Classicism to the abstract forms of the war-torn 20th century with a bit of love, loss, rivalry and rioting thrown in. 

Contributions come from a cast as diverse as the works themselves, including filmmaker Nic Roeg, historian Dan Snow and novelist Will Self, who offer a refreshingly wide range of perspectives on a genre of art which we have made very much our own.

I'm now off to bed with my iPad to watch it from the beginning!

[Update (the next morning!): A brilliant programme on all sorts of levels - the photography is absolutely stunning.  Plus it was an intelligent summary of how landscape developed as a genre at the same time as covering several important artists drawing and painting landscapes with really insightful comment.  I'm going to watch it all over again!]

4 comments:

Kay said...

shucks..can't get it on my pc..maybe a PBS station here will pick it up.

Bernie's Art said...

I found this a very disappointing program. It did not mention Constable till over 3/4 way through. To much about politics and scholarly (?) input, not enough about the actual painting. Ignored some of the best 18th century British landscape artists except for Turner and Constable. Did not mention Seago, but spent loads of time on Nash whom I do not like or rate. I was very disappointed.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Well Bernie - when you've covering 400 years the chances are that Turner and Constable are always going to turn up half way through!

Plus with 400 years of artists painting British landscape the chances of including everybody's favourites is pretty remote.

Plus the really important point they were making is that landscape art is always a product of its own era, culture and context. That's what very often influences the content and composition of the painting.

I regarded it a bit like an exhibition. It was an overview with a selection of notable artists. There were always going to be lots of artists left out - we could start a list if you like! By way of comparison, go and see "Watercolour" at the Tate and list all the famous watercolour artists who aren't included. ;)

I thought they did a jolly good job considering they only had 90 minutes. I think they could have limited the input from some of the selected commentators (some were good value, others less so)and packed in a few more examples of the artists but that was about all.

Bridget Hunter said...

Thankyou for the link!

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