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Peter Nahum

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Countries, like dogs, have their day: inspired artistic movements emerge to bloom as a poetic vanguard. Japan, India, Germany, France, Britain, Scandinavia or the USA, for instance, have all, in different eras, been the focus of, and influence on the international a la mode. What may have been obvious to fewer in the know at the time becomes manifestly conspicuous to the majority in retrospect.
It is clearly arguable that the most consistent and important contribution that Britain has made to the world's artistic endeavours and connoisseurship over the last three centuries has been inspired by a joyous observation of nature, which emerges in all three arts: painting, music and poetry. And this flow- ering of painting in the eighteen and nineteenth centuries of an intimate and somewhat mystical expression of the humbling beauty of the artists' rural surroundings echoes the illuminated manuscripts uniquely created in Irish and Northern British monasteries over a thousand years before.