video record
Media not available in the Digital Archive
Graham Martin, professor of Literature, and an art historian, Peter Vergo of the University of Essex, look at two art forms; poetry and paintngs to see if useful correspondences exist especially in... the Romantic period. They concentrate on one aspect of Romanticism - the response to Nature and they compare Nature writing with landscape painting. They trace the treatment of Nature from the Renaissance through the 18th century and show its relationship to Man in literature and to a narrative tradition in painting. Moving on to the Romantic period Graham Martin explains why poets wrote about nature. It was a metaphor for political and social freedom for the spiritual and creative energy of the poet and for elusive states of mind and feeling. Peter Vergo concentrates on the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich and the confrontation between solitary Man and Nature. Graham Martin concludes by reflecting on the brevity of tthe Romantic period. Later in the 19th century Nature ceases to be a force of liberation. It becomes instead a retreat from 'this strange disease of modern life'.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: A101, An arts foundation course
Item code: A101; 27
First transmission date: 30-08-1978
Published: 1978
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:25:00
Note: Visually very poor quality for first 4 minutes.
+ Show more...
Producer: Roger Thompson
Contributors: Graham Martin; Peter Vergo
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Bellini; Byron; Caspar David Friedrich; Coleridge; John Martin; Landscape Painting; Painting; Poetry; Romanticism; Wordwsworth
Footage description: The programme opens with a montage of Romantic poems. Graham Martin explains that the programme will consider the Romantic Movement's fascination with Nature, especially in literature and painting. Crutchley reads Hippolita's speech from A Midsummer Night's Dream, after which Martin explains the view of Nature apparent in Renaissance literature. Art historian Peter Vergo explains why it is useful to compare two art forms. He draws a comparison between 'nature writing' and Romantic landscape painting. Over numerous examples Vorgo describes the role of landscape in Renaissance painting and explains the purpose of most Renaissance art. Over more illustrations, Vergo describes the rise of Dutch landscape painting in the 17th century. He explains how it differs from Romantic art. Martin briefly compares 17th century Dutch painting with 18th century English poetry. Crutchley reads a verse from Pope, over a portrait of the poet. Martin comments on Pope's use of imagery about nature. Crutchley reads a similar verse from Byron. Martin explains Byron's more sophisticated use of natural imagery. Stills of Coleridge's cottage at Nether Stowey and of Coleridge himself. Martin discusses Coleridge's attitude towards nature. Crutchley reads some of his verse over stills of the Lake District. Martin argues that in Romantic poetry nature acts as a metaphor for social and political revolution. An extract from Byron's poetry illustrates his remarks. Martin discusses John Martin's painting Manfred on the Jungfrau and Turner's Slavers throwing overboard the dead and the dying. He explains the artists' use of nature to represent radical ideas. Still of Snowdon, over which Wordsworth's verse about the mountains is read and discussed. Martin argues that such works represent a development of creative writing. Vergo argues that Romantic images affected painting in a similar manner. Over numerous examples, chiefly German Romantic artists, he describes the romantic painter's attitude to nature. Martin concludes with some remarks about the significance of the Romantic Movement.
Master spool number: 6HT/72992
Production number: 00525_3450
Videofinder number: 2617
Available to public: no