A common language of landscape representation: New Zealand and California painting in the nineteenth century

  • Heath Schenker


In the nineteenth century, landscape painters in California and New Zealand shared a common language of landscape representation, looking at untamed coasts and rugged mountains through a lens shaped by two centuries of European artistic tradition. Explored in this paper is the influence of the picturesque tradition in New Zealand and California art in the nineteenth century. Ideological functions of landscape painting are identified: that is, ways artists in both New Zealand and California appropriated the landscape to support certain cultural, political and social agendas. Their work represents not only the land but the myths inscribed upon it by bourgeois culture.