The role of trees in British landscape painting, 1760-1870
I've been looking at a a beautiful book: Jacob George Strutt's Sylva Britannica (1826). This consists of portraits of remarkable trees, with a fascinating text. It is large - folio size. I don't understand why there has (apparently) been very little research done on Strutt. Apart from an excellent thesis by Beryl Hartley, I can't find any modern articles on him. This is his etching of the Tortworth Chestnut - a tree in Gloucestershire that is probably over a thousand years old.
I went to see this tree a couple of weeks ago - obviously it has changed a bit in nearly 200 years - but I think Strutt has captured its character remarkably well.
For the last five years, I have been engaged in research for a book on trees in British art, asking questions, such as: how does the interest in trees develop, how do ideas change over the 18th and 19th centuries? I've been looking at drawing manuals, illustrated books on trees, oil paintings, watercolours and prints, landscape gardening, poetry, artists' writings. The artists I'm particularly interested in include the following: Paul Sandby, Thomas Hearne, John Constable, Samuel Palmer, James Ward, John Martin, Edward Lear, Francis Danby, Jacob George Strutt and Henry William Burgess.