The animal painter Briton Rivière was interested in Charles Darwin’s ideas on evolution and the relationship of animals to man. Beyond Man’s Footsteps represents the Arctic as a place of extreme and sublime beauty where man is, as yet, nowhere to be seen and the polar bear reigns. Rivière did not visited the region, and based his painting on a captive bear in London Zoo and on dramatic written accounts of Arctic explorers.
Gallery label, February 2016
The Arctic Fantasies of Edwin Landseer and Briton Riviere: Polar Bears, Wilderness and Notions of the Sublime
Nineteenth-century images of the Arctic suggest that the sublime lost its religious and moral dimensions. While Frederic Church’s painting ...
Tate Britain’s recent rehang, which follows a broadly chronological sequence, includes focused individual displays that highlight new research as ...