Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
British Landscape:Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Academic Year
Semester 2
External Examiners
  • Professor Christiana Payne (Professor - Oxford Brookes University)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Conditions Both assessed elements must be passed. Only the failed component need be resubmitted   Essay: (2,500 words)  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   2 hour examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

1. thoughtfully articulate an apprehension of landscape as a concept formed at the intercise of artistic and cultural developments
2. thoughtfully articulate an apprehension of landscape as a active contemporary practice rooted in and drawing upon a specific tradition
3. give an account of the complex fusion and revivification of elements of past practice in contemporary and recent revivals of landscape
4. know the principal artists shaping the development of that tradition

Relation to Assessment
Outcomes 1 - 4 will be assessed through an essay that aims to assess a particular and in-depth comprehension of one aspect of the module curriculum;
Outcomes 1 - 4 will be examined through an examination paper that aims to assess a broader comprehension of curriculum content

Brief description

The module is a response to the recent revival in landscape painting in Britain. It aims to discuss contemporary theory and practice of the genre within the historical context of British (and, more particularly, English) tradition from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. The Nineteenth Century Prospect presents an overview of the contrasts and confluence of Romanticism, Classicism, and Naturalism, objectivity and imagination, science and religion than informed landscape art during this period, and which is also characteristic of revivalist landscape painting in the late-twentieth century. Furthermore, the section describes the evolution of a landscape aesthetic in the twentieth century that was no longer underpinned by religious certainties. The Modernist Outlook describes the development of a more formal (as opposed to a strictly visceral and empirical approach to landscape painting resulting from the interaction of the British tradition with European and American movements such as Post-Impressionism and abstraction in the first half of the twentieth century. This section studies the interaction in relation to Neo-Romanticism in particular. Alternative Views examines the subject matter of landscape painting, contrasting the representation of the rural, industrial, and urban landscapes, and concentrating on the practical problems and issues surrounding the `new aesthetic? of industrial and urban landscape during the period from the 1920s to the 1960s. The Contemporary Scene looks at various manifestations of, and dialogues surrounding, landscape art from the 1970s to the present. It explores the rediscovery of the British tradition in the wake of Modernism and discusses the re-evaluation and re-implementation of both a nineteenth century and a Neo-Romantic landscape aesthetic that has accompanied it. The section also traces the recovery of landscape art of a different order by British conceptualist and Earth-Art practitioners, and studies both the artists? anti-technological and post-industrial stance, and the contribution of their work to the ecological debate. In the final session, members of staff involved in landscape painting discuss their own work in the context of the module and broader traditions.


The module aims to:
A. examine the contemporary practice and theories pertaining to landscape painting within relevant historical, geographical, and sociological contexts
B. study concept of landscape as a cultural, intellectual, and ideological construct
C. map the evolution of landscape in response to changes in both
D. trace relationships between contemporary and past precedents of landscape painting in terms of influence and revival
E. explore the relationship of a tradition and innovation in respect to British landscape painting
F. discuss general tendencies, movements, and individual exemplars of such
G. establish links between British and European practice
H. explore the definitional boundaries and categories of landscape


Lectures and seminars will be drawn from the following

The Nineteenth Century Prospect
1 Lecture: The Real and the Ideal: The Paradise Paradigm
2 Lecture: The Natural and the Supernatural: The Visionary and the Imagined Landscape
3 Lecture: Geology and Theology: Ruskin and Nature
4 Seminar: `Expulsion from the Garden?: Nature after Darwin

The Modernist Outlook
5 Lecture: The Formal Garden: British Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Landscape
6 Lecture: The Structured Landscape: Ben Nicholson
7 Lecture: Construction, Destruction, Reduction: Peter Lanyon
8 Seminar: Modernism and the Indigenous Tradition: St Ives

Alternative Views
9 Lecture: The Enduring Naturalism: Landscape Paintings of Stanley Spencer
10 Lecture: `The Waste Land?: The Landscape of War
11 Lecture: Landscape and Realism: The Urban Motif

The Contemporary Scene
12 Lecture: Landscape, Again: The Neo-Romantic Revival
13 Lecture: Landscape, Late-Modernism, Postmodernism: the Sculptural Response
14 Lecture: Contemporary Landscape: a Personal View
15 Lecture: Paradise Regained: The New Ecology

Transferable skills

The module will assist the development of the following academic and transferable skills:

  • Self-directed project work -- through the production of the Essay and Examination
  • IT and information handling -- you will be expected to word-process the Essay, where appropriate
  • Writing in an academic context - Essay will be composed in accordance with academic conventions.
  • Oral discussion and presentation -- These will be developed in the context of Seminars
  • Careers need awareness - N/A
  • Self-management -- you will be expected to construct a realistic timetable for the completion of the Essay and preparation for the Examination.
  • Group activity -Seminar Discussion


This module is at CQFW Level 6