Salvator Rosa and eighteenth century England : a study of the influence of his art and idealogy on sublime landscape painting
Holtz, Barbara Dunn
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To anyone who has studied the eighteenth century it is no doubt evident that there existed in England an immense enthusiasm for nature and, specifically, for nature as depicted in landscape painting. Coupled with the cult of nature was a growing penchant for the element of terror which, by the middle of the century, had been established by Burke as the ruling principle of the Sublime and which, ultimately, led to the exploration of the wilder properties of landscape. What is, perhaps, less well-known is the great extent to which this dual phenomenon, inextricably immersed in the complex system of aesthetics of the period, was indebted to the art and ideology of the seventeenth century Italian master, Salvator Rosa. The purpose of this study is to explore more fully Rosa's timely influence, explicitly manifested in eighteenth century art, literature and poetry, which reached its most complete expression in the form of Sublime Landscape painting in the second half of the century.