Scottish Art Landscape
Landscape with Tourists at Loch Katrine, by John Knox
“The Scottish landscape has been one of the principal subjects for native artists for centuries. Dramatic mountain wildernesses that have become synonymous with Scotland first emerged in the eighteenth century. Artists began to approach the landscape with a new romantic feeling that was in itself part of a wider cultural drive to celebrate and ‘discover’ Scotland. Artists, writers and poets all contributed to the emergence of Scotland’s national identity, and the effects of their efforts still course through our modern notion of Scotland and Scottishness. That landscape painting helped to define the nation is an artistic accomplishment unique to Scotland.”
Highland Landscape with a Waterfall, by Horatio McCulloch
I wonder if this artistic ‘accomplishment’ has done us any favours in the long term. Maybe our understanding of our environment is distorted by this artistic mediation spanning 200 years. Maybe the fact that we can appreciate a landscape purely for its aesthetic value is a good thing if it isnt only valued as a heritage artefact but recognised as an important ecosystem.