Blood, Soil, Paint, (part II)
An examination of Romanticism and national character
It was at the birth of modern art history – at its conception, one could say – that the character of a landscape and the habits and customs of its people were considered the core of a school of art. The French diplomat and art critic Abbé Jean-Baptiste Dubos (1670-1742) wrote a discourse on poetry and painting entitled Critical Reflections on Poetry and Painting (1719), in which he attributed different national characters to distinctive air of particular regions. Later thinkers would reject the concept of air as a transmitter of distinctive characteristics, instead attributing to climate, food and geography such influence.