A History of Land by Amanda C. Sweet

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The Lay of the Land

Barbara Budnick. "The Lay of the Land: English Landscape Themes in Early Modern Painting in England." Dissertation, University of Washington, 2017.
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Co-chair:
Christine Göttler

Landscape paintings generally offer a far and wide view of external world, including all parts of the built and natural environment that pass before the eye. As a genre in England, landscape painting arose slowly in the second decade of the seventeenth century, portraying royal palaces and their prosperous environs along the Thames. This dissertation examines the development of an English landscape iconography based on property, both real and intellectual. I argue that during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries traditional English hierarchies of ownership were combined with new concepts of achievement to reimagine exclusive rights. To analyze visual works within an early modern context, I draw on a range of late sixteenth- to late eighteenth-century written sources, including diaries, journals, private correspondence, public rolls, personal account ledgers, periodicals, poetry, histories, travel texts, and scientific works, as well as economic, political, and aesthetic treatises. Such a broad literature of source material is interdisciplinary and situates landscape imagery in its historical period.

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