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The Theme of Countrymen Market Migration in Thomas Gainsborough's Landscape Paintings of his Bath Period
the Countrymen Market Migration
|Abstract:||根茲伯羅 (Gainsborough) 於十八世紀中期英國進入近現代時期旅居巴斯(Bath)，接觸當地的社交圈，其中不乏貴族、美學家、藝術家。當時英國社會對「風景園林」和「如畫」美學的討論風氣頗為興盛，就在此種氛圍下，根茲伯羅的風景畫或許受過影響而展現它的美學與鄉野獨特性。
本論文運用主要方法學有：布勞岱爾 (Fernand Braudel) 的「全面歷史觀」(histoire totale)的概念、圖像學的知識，以及社會史觀研究法的技巧，分析和根茲伯羅風景系列畫作主題相關的圖像和資料。
This thesis explores the theme of peasant migration in Thomas Gaisnborough’s landscape paintings made during his career of the Bath period. It analyzes the social and historical impacts Gainsborough had received and responded to the art world. Gainsborough settled in Bath in the mid-18th century, the pre-modern period in British social history. He ensconced himself in artistic circle of Bath; among whose members were the nobles, the aestheticians and the artists of his peer group. Conversations held among the groups on topics of ‘Landscape gardening’ and ‘the picturesque aesthetic’ tended to be their common interests, both in the theoretical and practical fields. Gainsborough’s landscape paintings represented his aesthetic awareness in picture making. His unique painting technique interwoven with intellectual dialogues might have helped in acquiring a supreme quality of rural beauty. During his Bath period, Gainsborough established ‘the Countrymen Market Migration’ theme in landscape painting. In this specific theme, aristocratic nostalgia for rural life, curiosity of countryside from city-dwellers, peasants going to or returning from the market were carefully depicted. However, the influences of the enclosure movement and the industrial revolution upon countrymen were nevertheless vaguely reflected. Gainsborough had shown little interest in doing historical and allegory paintings. His landscape paintings were much more expressional other than didactic. This expressional mode in picture making gives direct emotional stimulations to the spectators, and response in return to Gainsborough’s religion and sensibility with repercussion and sympathy. This thesis applies social historical approaches to analyze Gainsborough’s art in this specific social context. Firstly, it examines how British cultural legacies impact on rural and urban cultural in order to understand cultural evolution and social development in eighteenth-century. Secondly, this thesis explores the inconsistence between the ideal model and the real character in representation of countrymen in Gainsborough’s art in order to realize how he managed to illustrate his talent in the eighteenth-century art milieu. Thirdly, this thesis reveals the function of laborers that move in the forest as a theme to understand the meaning of Gainsborough’s art. In the thesis, Fernand Braudel’s concept of “histoire totale” and knowledge of iconology, as well as skills of social historical researches are taken as the main methodologies in analyzing the pictures and documents that are related to Gainsborough landscape paintings of this specific theme. Keywords：Gainsborough, English Painting, Landscape Painting, the Countrymen Market Migration, Bath period.
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