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Unit information: Landscape (Level C Special Topic) in 2018/19

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Unit name Landscape (Level C Special Topic)
Unit code HART10208
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Hatchwell
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts


Artists have always been fascinated by man's relationship to nature, depicting pastoral idylls on the one hand, and wild untamed nature on the other. Landscape art can be meticulously realistic, a result of a mapping instinct as we see in some early modern art; or it can be wildly imaginative, fantastical or exotic, such as that produced by the artists of the Romantic Movement. It can inspire studies of light and colour, and formal experimentation as in the work of the French Impressionists or German Expressionists. Landscape has been used to project national consciousness or aspirations from the early modern period to the nineteenth and twentieth-centuries. Landscapes can often be highly symbolic, aspects of which may represent good or evil, paradise or hell. Positive and negative representations may also be used to portray the impact of industrialisation or the devastation of war, as in artworks by J.M.W. Turner or Paul Nash. In more recent decades artists have turned their attention to earthworks and land art. These are some of the issues we will be exploring in this unit, which will be thematically structured, and which will cover a wide geographical and chronological range.

Students will practice their oral presentation skills by giving a formative class presentation.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of current art historical study and research
  2. work with both visual and textual sources
  3. demonstrate skills in contributing to and learning from a small-group environment
  4. articulate their knowledge and understanding of the range of landscape in western art and the ability to differentiate between the more significant traditions of the genre.

Teaching details


1 x 2-hour seminar

1 x 1-hour workshop

Assessment Details

4000-word essay (100%) [ILOs 1-4]

Reading and References

  • S. Adams and A. Robins (eds.), Gendering Landscape Art (Manchester, 2000)
  • M. Andrews, Landscape and Western Art (Oxford, 1999)
  • T. Barringer, G. Quilley and D. Fordham (eds.), Art and the British Empire (Manchester, 2007)
  • W. J. T. Mitchell (ed.), Landscape and Power (2nd ed., Chicago, 2002)
  • S. Schama, Landscape and Memory (London, 2004)
  • M. Warnke, Political Landscape: The Art History of Nature (Chicago, 2004)