Changing attitudes and perceptions of artists towards the New Zealand mountain landscape.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The purpose of this study is to explore the changing attitudes and perceptions of artists and settlers towards the New Zealand mountain landscape from the period of colonisation to 1950. When European colonists first anived in New Zealand, they brought with them old world values that shaped their attitudes to nature and thus the mountains of this country. Tracing the development of mountain topophilia in landscape painting, highlighted that the perceptions settlers adopted on arrival differed greatly from those of their homeland. In effect, the love of European mountain scenery was not transposed onto their new environment. It was not until the 1880s that a more sympathetic outlook towards mountains developed. This led to the greater depiction of mountains and their eventual adoption into New Zealanders identification with the land. An analysis of paintings housed in the Art Galleries of the South Island provided evidence that this eventually led to the development of a collective consciousness as to the ideal mountain landscape.