Skip to Main Content
Skip to Main Navigation
Skip to Footer
Sign in / Register
TV On Demand
Film on TV
Film On Demand
This Green and Pleasant Land: The Story of British Landscape Painting
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share on Google Plus
Share on Reddit
Email to a friend
This epic survey of British landscape painting has a simple device that it wheels out repeatedly to good effect. It simply places someone – art historian, critic or painter – in the location where an artist painted a landscape and compares the picture with the view. It’s never the same, because the artist’s job is to make things more perfect. Just as the landscape is itself moulded and managed, often to make it more picturesque, especially parklands designed to mimic idealised, Italianate scenes.
Tracing how landscape became a subject in itself, rather than just a backdrop, is made a fascinating business. And this all unfolds within the context of historical events, as outlined by Dan Snow and many other contributors. What we have here is a grand parade stretching from before Gainsborough to Lowry, full of insights and glorious views. There’s nothing flash about it, although Simon Callow’s clipped narration may irritate.
Artists, critics and academics examine depictions of the British landscape in art. The programme charts the genre's development from the earliest Flemish paintings in the court of Charles I to David Hockney's digital drawings. Featuring contributions by film-maker Nic Roeg, historian Dan Snow and novelist Will Self.
Cast & Crew
Full Episode Guide
Hollyoaks: Luke’s secret son Oliver arrives during his wedding to Mandy
EastEnders: Tanya Franks is back as Rainie Cross
How Desert Island Discs helped solve a Death in Paradise murder case
Derry Girls is the comedy you need to beat the January blues