By Stuart Sillars
An exam of the ways that the artists and writers of the Nineteen Forties constructed and prolonged techniques from prior English romanticism to supply a right away and compassionate reaction to the truth of up to date destruction.
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Extra info for British Romantic Art and the Second World War
In this lies the element of the Romantic in his work; the act of intrepretive vision is still there, in this reworking as a simplified pattern. Because it looks simple and straightforward- lightweight, almost- it is easy to overlook the Romantic changing that it contains; because it has the simple rhythmic quality of earlier Picturesque painting without the heavier emotional overtones of high Romanticism - because it resembles Cotman at his purest rather than Turner or Constable at their most intense - it is easy to call it neo-Picturesque.
There was considerable demand in the international artmarket for such work, particularly in the USA, where the etchings of Whistler were much collected and had created interest in similar work. The tradition of English book-illustration was also strong, helped by a resurgence of interest in the English countryside after the desolation and depredation of the First World War. Although The Romantic Continuity 39 the last anthology of Georgian poetry94 had appeared in 1922 Georgian from Virgil's Georgics, not the reigns of the Georges - the Georgian poets' interest in the land, combining as it did practical earthiness with mystical vision, was still strong.
78 The process of rehabilitation and understanding seems to have reached completion, with Constable recognised as an artist of great Romantic stature and an example for contemporary painters to follow in the immediacy of that experiential relation to landscape which is inseparable from his sense of composition and feeling for the textures of paint. The same is true of Turner. 79 Three further collections of watercolours appeared in reproduction in the twenties, to be followed by many more in the thirties and A.