Panorama - The Courtauld Institute of Art

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Panorama

The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery - 26 September 2015 – 10 January 2016

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A painting of a landscape, a wide river runs between two mountains.

John Irthington ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749-1831), Valley of Terni with the river Nera after the waterfall of the Marmore and the village of Papigno, watercolour, D.1952.RW.4489

Over the centuries, artists have used lofty, sometimes imagined viewpoints to create panoramas: dramatic, sweeping overviews of the world. Such panoramas can express a range of ideas, from civic pride and political power to Romantic notions of the sublime and the awe-inspiring power of nature.

This display, which runs concurrently with the exhibition Soaring Flight: Peter Lanyon’s Gliding Paintings, explores the tradition of panoramic landscape before the age of powered flight. Ranging from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries and including works by John ‘Warwick’ Smith, J. M. W. Turner, Canaletto and Adam Frans van der Meulen, it considers some of the many facets of artists’ enduring fascination with the infinite.

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