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Easter weekend in the Highlands isn’t one to go out and about. The tourists are in full force and the schools are off. Fortunately, we’re only just recovering from the Covid and so local walks to get some fitness back is enough for the moment. The time off did give me time to delve into the depths of the Dutch Golden Age and what an inspiration it was.
I remember reading a ‘trilogy’ of books called the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson. It is primarily a historical fiction adventure/thriller set in a period from the late 17th to early 18th centuries. However, what it does so well is to contextualize the history of the development of the modern age by linking together facets of economics, science, industry, art, etc. It is no surprise that the Dutch Golden Age features so heavily in the book as it was a centre for thinking in so many different ways. When I worked my way through the artists and art of this period, I had in mind what it must have been like to be an artist in a newly independent and economically booming country surrounded by philosophers, scientists, musicians, poets etc. It must have been amazing to feel so inspired by everything going on at the time.
It was also intriguing to think of how influences between artists were mostly based on travel. If you wanted to see what was happening in Haarlem, you had to go there. There were so many things I could have written about in the subsequent article but I’ve tried to keep it to the point and allow the reader places to go and continue the research on their own (fortunately by using Google rather than catching a ferry to Zeebrugge).
I don’t imagine everyone suddenly wanting to study art history but even if you just enjoy seeing the collection of paintings that will please me and if a few of you are inspired to think about landscape art a little differently after reading the article, I’ll be very happy.
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I said at the beginning that this is an image that remains very clearly in my head, and this, in our current world of visual overload, of itself says all that needs to be said about the impact this image has had on me. more
In this installment of my history of landscape painting, I'm taking a look at one of the most artistically creative periods for landscape in early European history and that is the Dutch Golden Age. more
Before travelling I had all sorts of preconceived ideas on many topics. You know, having an unlimited access to culture can sometimes make you feel like you know a lot of things but in the end, you don’t really know anything until you live it. more
He was going out into the landscape with specific expectations and placed all his value on the final image instead of the actual experience of being out in nature – undermining his very intent for taking up photography in the outdoors, to begin with. more
After Britain’s exit from the European Union, many have wondered what Britain’s place in the world is, what it should be and what it could become? more
Most of the photographs have been made from inside the lounge looking out, or just outside the lounge from one of the two balconies looking over the view of the tourist town of Queenstown, the magnificent Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkable Mountain range beyond. more