This lecture examines the Grand Tour as a site of origin for the Picturesque, the aesthetic category that would come to dominate landscape representation in Britain by about 1800. It offers a link between the European grand tour and that made by Joseph Banks and James Cook – a world tour. It also highlights Frederic Church as both an artist and world traveler. The lecture moves on to make the unusual claim that we can trace a range of similarities between paintings made by British artists in Italy, and those made after 1788 by a less privileged category of image-makers – the prisoners held in the British prison colonies of Australia, who produced an distinctive, antipodean form of Picturesque landscape. The lecture concludes by arguing that global grand tours of American painter Frederic Edwin Church continued this tradition and brought it to a climax.
Tim Barringer is Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art at Yale University. He specializes in the eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century art of Britain and the British Empire, nineteenth-century American and German art and museum studies.