Painting the Nation

Painting the Nation : Identity and Nationalism in Scottish Painting, 1800-1920

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Description

This pioneering account of painting in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Scotland is a compelling history of the most vibrant period in the nation's art history. It also casts a new and revealing light on the nature and evolution of Scottish identity. In Painting the Nation, art and history are brought together in ways that reveal as much about the paintings as they do about the wider issues of the time. Painting mirrored the tensions between Scotland's idea of itself as a discrete entity and its position within the United Kingdom. John Morrison reveals political meanings not only in depictions of great moments in history but in a whole range of imagery, from scenes of everyday life to romantic landscapes of crags and lochs. We also see how artists could in the same painting simultaneously display their pride in the British nation and celebrate Scotland's difference. In John Morrison's exposition, icons such as Robert Bruce and Glencoe and the runic carvings of the Picts take on new meaning as symbols of a nationalism bound to unionism.In addition to the work of artists such as Sir David Wilkie, Horatio McCulloch, Sir George Harvey, George Paul Chalmers and Sir James Guthrie, less well-known paintings such as G. P. Chalmers' End of Harvest and W. D. McKay's Winter Morning are explored. In doing so the reader is guided through an intriguing period in Scottish history and the great art it inspired.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 172.2 x 247.9 x 16.8mm | 780.19g
  • EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 105 color illus
  • 0748616020
  • 9780748616022

Review quote

Morrison has interesting things to say about broader cultural shifts that are relevant to the art. Well-designed ! excellent new work ! an absolute 'must' for your library! A remarkable book ! all in all, this is a book which demands attention from historians of Scottish, British and European nineteenth-century art. It will find a place on many reading lists. Furthermore it deserves a wide readership among historians and, indeed, among the general public. -- Murdo Macdonald Even the most earnest reader will have fun reading Painting the Nation. John Morrison is lecturer in the History of Art at the University of Aberdeen, and this is a serious work, but his touch is all the more telling when it is light. Morrison is not only visually acute, but his writing is a sequence of nice intellectual distinctions - related gifts, of course. The scope of Morrison's work includes the ways, for instance, in which the nation's painting reflects its kirk (the only institution in Britain to face down Mrs Thatcher), its educational system and political and social change. How welcome a corrective to the many still prevalent assumptions about Scottish painting and culture. Morrison has interesting things to say about broader cultural shifts that are relevant to the art. Well-designed ! excellent new work ! an absolute 'must' for your library! A remarkable book ! all in all, this is a book which demands attention from historians of Scottish, British and European nineteenth-century art. It will find a place on many reading lists. Furthermore it deserves a wide readership among historians and, indeed, among the general public. Even the most earnest reader will have fun reading Painting the Nation. John Morrison is lecturer in the History of Art at the University of Aberdeen, and this is a serious work, but his touch is all the more telling when it is light. Morrison is not only visually acute, but his writing is a sequence of nice intellectual distinctions - related gifts, of course. The scope of Morrison's work includes the ways, for instance, in which the nation's painting reflects its kirk (the only institution in Britain to face down Mrs Thatcher), its educational system and political and social change. How welcome a corrective to the many still prevalent assumptions about Scottish painting and culture.show more

About John Morrison

John Morrison is Lecturer in the History of Art at the University of Aberdeen. His published work includes Particles of Light: A History of Aberdeen Artists' Society 1827-2000 (Aberdeen, 2000).show more

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