： (Steam age, Industrial landscape, British society)
The steam train had an enormous impact on how British society, including artists, perceived the natural landscape. The industrial revolution gave birth to startlingly new technologies that threatened the natural environment with destruction. These same products of industry, however, also made it possible for people, both rich and poor, to enjoy the countryside as a place of freedom and escape from the harmful aspects of city life: ‘The Great Outdoors’ was an expression coined during this period to describe the sentimental embrace of the countryside and nature that followed the advent of Industrialisation. This exhibition explores the sensational impact train travel had on both British society and landscape painting between 1830 and the mid-twentieth-century: The Age of Steam. The world’s first passenger train ran between Liverpool and Manchester in the North of England in 1830, and it is these same landscapes that will feature in the exhibition. The impulse to nurture and enjoy the natural landscape was already well established in Britain thanks to the efforts of the Romantic artists, chiefly JMW Turner (1775-1851), and painters such as James Baker Pyne (1800-1870) and Edmund Niemann (1813-1876) who emulated his work. They were followed by a younger generation of painters who sought to capture the exciting new possibilities for art that the emerging industrial landscape provoked. These included the British Impressionists, such as Bertram Priestman (1868-1951) and Phillip Wilson Steer (1860-1942); the Social Realist painters, such as Sir George Clausen (1852-1944), who were interested in the clash between rural and urban ways of life; and the Post-Impressionism of members of the Camden Town Group who painted candid cityscapes.
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