Christopher Neve’s classic book is a journey into the imagination through the English landscape. How is it that artists, by thinking in paint, have come to regard the landscape as representing states of mind?
What he is writing is not precisely art history: it is about pictures, about landscape and about thought. Over the years, he was able to have discussions with many of the thirty or so artists he focuses on, the inspiration for the book having come from his talks with Ben Nicholson; and he has immersed himself in their work, their countryside, their ideas.
Because he is a painter himself, and an expert on 20th-century art, Neve is well equipped for such a journey. Few writers have conveyed more vividly the mixture of motives, emotions, unconscious forces and contradictions which culminate in the creative act of painting.