These were a series of lectures I gave at Castle Hill in Truro during 2020 - 2021. I often give slide talks during classes to provide examples of painting and drawing to students to learn about great painting and to connect to the flow of art making through time to the present. I decided to focus on the role of nature in picture making in both the east and west and how those intersect and how our view of the natural world has changed. But of course it is all about painting in the end!
Chinese Painting: a Thousand Year Survey.
I cover the classical age of Chinese painting from the Han to Ming dynasties including some contemporary Chinese artists. Then we move into English outdoor sculpture!
Nature Tradition in Western Painting Prehistory to 1900.
We look at how nature has been portrayed in art since early times, the transition through the middle ages to the Renaissance and the 17th C. Dutch Golden Age. Then on to the 19th C. French and English traditions and end with a look at the American 19th C. response to nature. We end with Cezanne and the transition to the 20th C. We follow the flow of ideas in Kenneth Clark's marvelous book "Nature Into Art."
La Belle Epoch; the years 1880 - 1914 in Paris.
A time of great artistic, scientific and technological change moving from the 19th C. into the modern era. A brief overview of this historic period in Paris as background for the following talk which focuses mainly on the painting.
Nature Tradition in Western Painting 1880 to 1930's
A rich twenty-plus years of explosive change in art beginning with Cezanne and ending with prewar Americans. The beginnings of modernism in Paris and Berlin. And how any of this relates to where we are now. How the natural world becomes more of a felt, elemental, experience in the years after Cezanne. Color and Form dominate the picture surface beyond factual representation.
How nature is seen in the works of New York Figurative school painters and their students up to the present.
Beginning with Hans Hoffman, his students, and their influences on the current generation of painters. Does landscape still have meaning? Can artists still carry on the tradition of nature in western painting after Abstract Expressionism?
Yet to come!