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The Empire of the Eye 9780801428302

The Empire of the Eye

Landscape Representation and American Cultural Politics, 1825-1875

ISBN-10: 0801428300
ISBN-13: 9780801428302
PUBLISHER: Cornell University Press
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Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: "The great nineteenth-century American landscape paintings - panoramic visions of natural design - have long been interpreted as expressions of the very spirit of national expansionism. Surveying American landscape art in light of its political, institutional, and cultural history from the 1820s through the post-Civil War era, Angela Miller profoundly alters our understanding of the genre. In this richly illustrated volume, she shows how landscape paintings, beyond reflecting the beauty and the power of nature, served as a medium through which disquieting questions concerning the future of the new republic could be raised symbolically." "Making use of a wide array of sources including diaries, letters, travel writings, criticism, and essays, Miller illuminates the meaning of landscape images for nineteenth-century viewers. She reassesses the ideological influence of Thomas Cole on successive generations of artists and reinterprets the new types of national landscape that emerged among New York-based painters beginning in the 1840s. Miller offers fresh analyses of such key works as Cole's View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts (The Oxbow) (1836), Asher B. Durand's Progress (1853), John Frederick Kensett's White Mountains - Mount Washington (1851), Frederic Church's New England Scenery (1851), and Sanford Gifford's Kauterskill Clove (1862). The cultural identity expressed by nationalist landscape painting, she asserts, was marked by competing commitments to region and nation, by uncertainties over gender relations, and by the paradox of a nature simultaneously invested with spiritual values and used to underwrite an ideology of progress." "Enhanced by eight color plates and sixty-four black-and-white reproductions, The Empire of the Eye represents a major contribution to American cultural studies and the history of landscape art."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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