Shakespeare Connected - Storms and Watercolours: Visualising Shakespeare's Nature
The Warwickshire Agricultural Show, a sketch in oils by James Cox, 1865.
This oil painting of the Warwickshire Agricultural Show by James Cox is a valuable reminder of the importance of cultivated land to Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, and the relationship between Warwickshire’s landscapes and the developing tourist trade in the town. The agrarian landscape would have been familiar to Shakespeare, as Elizabethan England relied upon such labour on the land, before the drastic changes in the relationship between man and nature brought about by the Industrial Revolution. In this painting, we can observe the aesthetic pleasure brought about by the land in the context of the mid-nineteenth century, combined with an implicit awareness of its function of providing sustenance to its inhabitants.
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