This thesis thematically examines Sir Edwin Landseer's 0802-73>
visual images of the Scottish Highlands. From consideration of
Landseer's art and its social context it is argued that it is possible
to gain an understanding of changing conceptions of both landscape
and nature and the symbolic role of Highland Scotland in British
middle class consciousness over the period 1820-1870. The text is
contained in Volume One and all illustrative plates are contained in
In Chapter One recent reformulations of the concept of culture are
examined, some approaches to cultural theory reviewed and a cultural
materialist framework adopted. The changing nature of Scottish rural
imagery over the period 1750 - 1870 is examined in Chapter Two.
Chapter Three provides both a brief biographical sketch of Edwin
Landseer and a commentary on the nature of the Victorian art market. The re-presentation of the Scottish rural poor in landscape art is examined in Chapter Four.
In Chapter Five particular attention is given to the ideological nature of Landseeer’s royal commissions while the changing symbolic role of animals in nineteenth
century thought is examined in Chapter Six. Chapter Seven examines
Landseer's "Flood in the Highlands" (1845-1860) and argues that this
work encapsulates a historical study of human responses to a specific
hostile environment. It is further argued that this work represents an
essentially Christian analogical view of the relationship between man
and the natural world. In conclusion Chapter Eight re-examines the
symbolic role of the Highland Image in popular consciousness over the
period 1820 - 1870. It is argued that Landseer's Highland works reflect
and articulate two central traits in early and mid Victorian thought -
the value of the rural and the pull of the past. In a brief postscript
it is suggested that the immense popularity of Landseer's Highland
image helped prepare Victorian society for a subsequent historicist
reaction which illustrated the power of the past in shaping the
regional development of the Highlands.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.