British artists and the modernist landscape

Ysanne Holt

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


This monograph examined representations of landscape by key British painters of the late Victorian and Edwardian period. It considered their relationship to the developing culture of ruralism and demonstrated how their engagement with modernism corresponded to certain non-aesthetic interests of the period. It examined a series of ‘imaginary geographies’ of important sites, from the home counties and Cornwall to Southern Ireland and the Mediterranean. It viewed the practice of landscape painting in relation to conceptions of national identity and as broadly adjunct to contemporary processes of imperialism and colonisation. In the Ashgate series ‘British art and Visual Culture since 1750: New Readings’, this was the culmination of Holt’s sustained research in British landscape painting begun with a monograph on the influential painter Philip Wilson Steer in 1992. It extended arguments about landscape, modernism and national identity that had emerged from the 2002 anthology The Geographies of Englishness: Landscape and the National Past and connected to the Leverhulme project ‘Impressionism in Britain: Practice and Patronage in British Art at the Turn of the Twentieth Century’. Aspects of this research are now being extended into the post World War I period in a new monograph, English Art and Visual Culture and a collaborative Leverhulme bid for research into visual culture in the 1920s. New research also focuses on northern landscapes, including a study of Ben Nicholson, with an essay to appear in a 2008 Tate exhibition. As a result of this scholarship Holt was invited to join the Sussex University AHRC network ‘The Landscape and Environment of Interwar England’ Rupert Ashmore’s Northumbria funded research studentship ‘Northern Landscape in Fine Art and Photography’ relates to this research, expanding on questions of national and regional identity and debates within tourism studies and cultural geography.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFarnham
Number of pages200
ISBN (Print)9780754600732
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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