British Art: Ancient Landscapes

Sam Smile

Publication date:
April 2016
Publisher :
Paul Holberton Publishing
Illustration :
60 colour illus.
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781911300144

Dimensions : 280 X 218 mm
This book is available


• Presenting the best and most imaginative creative responses by artists to the
British prehistoric landscape over the last 250 years. This is the first significant
publication to range over the entire field - from Stonehenge and the Merry
Maidens to the White Horse and the Long Man of Wilmingon - by the likes of
Turner, Constable, Blake, Nash, Ravilious, Piper, Hepworth, Moore, Ackroyd,
Jarman, Deller and Long.

Published to accompany an exhibition at Salisbury Museum and Art Gallery,
this volume explores the most significant works of art engaged with prehistoric
moments across Britain from the 18th century to the 21st. While some of the
works in the earlier period may be familiar to readers - especially Turner and
Constable's famous watercolours of Stonehenge - the varied responses to British
Antiquity since 1900 are much less well known and have never been grouped
The author aims to show the significance of antiquity for 20th-century artists,
demonstrating how they responded to the observable features of prehistoric
Britain and exploited their potential for imaginative re-interpretation. The
classic phase of modernist interest in these sites and monuments was the
1930s, but a number of artists working after WWII developed this legacy or
were stimulated to explore that landscape in new ways. Indeed, it continues to
stimulate responses and the book concludes with an examination of works made
within the last few years.
An introductory essay looks at the changing artistic approach to British
prehistoric remains over the last 250 years, emphasizing the artistic significance
of this body of work and examining the very different contexts that brought
it into being. The cultural intersections between the prehistoric landscape, its
representation by fine artists and the emergence of its most famous sites as
familiar locations in public consciousness will also be examined. For example,
engraved topographical illustrations from the 18th and 19th centuries and Shell
advertising posters from the 20th century will be considered.
Artists represented include: JMW Turner, John Constable, Thomas Hearne,
William Blake, Samuel Prout, William Geller, Richard Tongue, Thomas Guest,
John William Inchbold, George Shepherd, William Andrews Nesfield, Copley
Fielding, Yoshijiro (Mokuchu) Urushibara, Alan Sorrell, Edward McKnight
Kauffer, Frank Dobson, Paul Nash, Eric Ravilious, John Piper, Henry Moore,
Barbara Hepworth, Ithell Colquhoun, Gertrude Hermes, Norman Stevens,
Norman Ackroyd, Bill Brandt, Derek Jarman, Richard Long, Joe Tilson, David
Inshaw and Jeremy Deller.


A fascinating reflection on our connection with these landscapes and how the past continues to occupy the present."
Art Quarterly

Some of the greatest names in British art from the past 250 years ... [a] vantage point from which to look again at Britain's ancient monuments: to notice, to ponder, to be mystified and to be inspired by them.
Minerva Magazine

Much to stimulate and delight"
Country Life

Engaging … this beautifully illustrated book allows us to catch artists in the act of negotiating ancient monuments."
The Spectator

Outdoor Photography Magazine