Nature and Culture : American Landscape and Painting, 1825-1875

by Barbara Novak

Hardcover, 1980




New York : Oxford University Press, 1980.


"Originally published in 1980, and reissued with an extended preface in 1995, Nature and Culture was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the American Book Award, and the Los Angeles Times Nonfiction Award and was chosen by The New York Times Book Review as one the year's ten best books. The second volume of her trilogy on American art and culture, it describes how the idea of "God in Nature" was rendered by nineteenth-century landscape painters who believed, along with the culture at large, that the glory of God - as shown through America's natural riches - was proof of the nation's providential destiny. Using diaries and letters, as well as quotes from literary texts, journals, and periodicals, Novak illuminates the range of ideas the era's thinkers projected onto the American landscape before this idealistic view collapsed from within, under-mined by the Civil War, Darwinism, and a burgeoning technological landscape"--Jacket.… (more)


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