Magazine article Queen's Quarterly

Picturing the Americas: Art Gallery of Ontario

Magazine article Queen's Quarterly

Picturing the Americas: Art Gallery of Ontario

Article excerpt

It was during the beginning of the nineteenth century, as the emerging settler nations dispersed across the hemisphere gained their independence, that landscape painting began to create a broader vision of the Americas. In Europe, such painting had for centuries expressed the outlook of royalty and the landed elite, but the prospect of open and available land in the Americas shifted the focus from those who owned it to those who worked it. Tracing an arc from owning the land to belonging to it, this exhibition investigates the role of landscape painting in the formation of national identities-rooted in the natural beauty and symbolic meaning of the territory.

Landscape painting described the land of the Americas as an arena for encounters between settlers and indigenous people, an arena that today is witnessing a growing indigenous resurgence across the hemisphere. …

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