The shepherd on the hill: comparative notes on English and German romantic landscape painting 1810-1831

Waites, Ian (2009) The shepherd on the hill: comparative notes on English and German romantic landscape painting 1810-1831. In: �Romantic Correspondences�, 4 November 2005, The Centre for Regional Cultures, University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, Newstead Abbey. .

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The Shepherd on the Hill: Comparative Notes on English and German Romantic Landscape Painting 1810-1831.
Conference Paper delivered 4 November 2005. ‘Romantic Correspondences’, The Centre for Regional Cultures, University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, Newstead Abbey.
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Abstract

The solitary figure in the landscape can be understood in relation to certain, fundamentally Romantic traits – solitude, contemplation, oneness with nature – and is most notably found in the work of Caspar David Friedrich. Less recognised however is the fact that the solitary figure can also be found in the landscape paintings of many English artists of the early nineteenth century, particularly within depictions of commonly held pastoral landscapes. Within the traditional terms of English art history, the landscape genre of this period has also been closely associated with the concept of Romanticism.

This paper will study the use of the solitary figure in paintings of open, common field landscape, and will compare two paintings: Caspar David Friedrich’s ‘Landscape with Rainbow (The Shepherd’s Complaint)’ of 1810, and John Sell Cotman’s ‘The Shepherd on the Hill’ of 1831. It will examine the more conventional Romantic resonances of Friedrich’s painting in order to question whether Cotman’s shepherd is a comparative example of Romantic solitude and contemplation, or whether it was more of a prosaic image of a typically English ‘rustic type’ at a time when a particular sense of national identity was emerging that was closely associated with the countryside and country life. From there, it is hoped that we can begin to reconsider the conventional Romantic image of English landscape painting in the first three decades of the nineteenth century.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information:The solitary figure in the landscape can be understood in relation to certain, fundamentally Romantic traits – solitude, contemplation, oneness with nature – and is most notably found in the work of Caspar David Friedrich. Less recognised however is the fact that the solitary figure can also be found in the landscape paintings of many English artists of the early nineteenth century, particularly within depictions of commonly held pastoral landscapes. Within the traditional terms of English art history, the landscape genre of this period has also been closely associated with the concept of Romanticism. This paper will study the use of the solitary figure in paintings of open, common field landscape, and will compare two paintings: Caspar David Friedrich’s ‘Landscape with Rainbow (The Shepherd’s Complaint)’ of 1810, and John Sell Cotman’s ‘The Shepherd on the Hill’ of 1831. It will examine the more conventional Romantic resonances of Friedrich’s painting in order to question whether Cotman’s shepherd is a comparative example of Romantic solitude and contemplation, or whether it was more of a prosaic image of a typically English ‘rustic type’ at a time when a particular sense of national identity was emerging that was closely associated with the countryside and country life. From there, it is hoped that we can begin to reconsider the conventional Romantic image of English landscape painting in the first three decades of the nineteenth century.
Keywords:Nineteenth Century Painting, Romanticism, Landscape, Commonland, waites789
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V144 Modern History 1800-1899
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V210 British History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V222 German History
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Art & Design
ID Code:1824
Deposited By: Ian Waites
Deposited On:05 Mar 2009 16:26
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:31

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