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David Hockney’s English landscape paintings have heroically revived this deeply unfashionable genre

A Closer Winter Tunnel, February-March (2006) by David Hockney

David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture Royal Academy, 21st January to 9th April, Tel: 020 7300 8000

Once, the English landscape was a prime subject for British art. From the time of the pioneering watercolour artist Paul Sandby in the mid-18th century right into the early 20th century, British painters responded keenly to particular features of the nation’s countryside, beginning with fields and hills, and soon enough, as travel writer and painter John Brown put it in 1753, to “the beauty, horror and immensity” of the Lake District, Scotland and Wales.

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