A sweeping account that places Canadian landscape art within Western cultural tradition.
The vast Canadian landscape has captured the imagination of visual artists since the first European contact. Although artistic engagement with the landscape has a long history, some periods have drawn considerable critical attention, while others have been left almost unexamined. Picturing the Land surveys work from coast to coast, from the earliest maps to postwar painting in English and French Canada, to provide a comprehensive view of Canadian landscape art.
Emphasizing the ways in which social, economic, and political conditions determine representation, Marylin McKay moves beyond canonical images and traditional nationalistic interpretations by analyzing Canadian landscape art in relation to different concepts of territory. Taking an expansive and inclusive perspective on Canadian landscape art, McKay depicts this tradition in all its diversity and draws it into the larger body of Western landscape art, broadening the horizon of future study, appreciation, and criticism.
Richly illustrated and filled with sophisticated and innovative commentary, Picturing the Land provides new and distinct histories of the landscape art of French and English Canada.