Welcome to official blogsite of The Landscape Detective. We publish pictures of unknown scenes in the UK landscape and try to identify where and when the depiction was created; whether it be in paint, ink, charcoal or other media. Artists have been painting and sketching Great Britain for hundreds of years and although many landscapes have been famously reproduced by well known artists it’s the ones that were created by the lesser known or anonymous artists that we are most interested in.
Our ambition is to build up a library of images of Britain’s landscape past and present – represented by the artists who were so inspired to capture them.
We cannot do this on our own and we need YOU to help. Take a look at the individual case studies we have in our ‘Under Investigation’ section. Do you recognise the place or the county perhaps? Or the species of tree, the type of soil or rock? All of these things might be clues to finding the exact location where the artist stood when the scene was recorded. If you live locally to the scene you can also help by sending us a photograph of the exact same place today which will help us reference the location’s historical context.
In the houses (and lofts) of families around the world there’s an artistic and topographic heritage waiting to be discovered. Can YOU help us with this mission? If you have a landscape picture you would like to know more about then send a photograph to us and we will publish it on the internet for our ever growing membership to identify. Perhaps you don’t have any mystery landscapes but you know of someone who does? Click here to visit the section on how to send us a photograph of your landscape.
There are many pictures adorning the walls of our public houses, does your local pub have an unidentified landscape on display – one that is maybe a bit dusty but is lovingly decorated with holly every Christmas tide? Does it have a title, does the owner know the history of the scene it depicts? If not, then with the owner’s permission, please send a photograph to us here. (Not only will we publish it, but we’ll give your local pub a plug too!)
It doesn’t matter if the picture is known to be of a particular county or has obvious clues/references in terms of the location we simply want to plot the exact spot on the map where the artist stood when recording the scene.
Please help us all to reclaim our heritage and acknowledge the artists who not only appreciated the landscape but felt compelled to record it for posterity. It matters not whether they recorded it factually or with a significant measure of interpretation, the sheer manifestation of it is what is important. We are not concerned if the artwork is deemed to be ‘amateurish’ in its execution because we are not setting out to judge the skill of the artist, only to regard the very special subject matter that was chosen to commemorate the memory of a place. Let us recognise the enthusiasm of the amateur artists who clearly identified with the locations. Perhaps this was because they were strongly bonded to their landscapes. They held a personal significance often because their families had lived there for some time. The great thing about painting the landscape as opposed to capturing on film is that the process is rarely spontaneous and is never instantaneous. The location will have been studied and revered before the artist commited such time and energy into the encapsulation of the view or vision. Whether it be of rural pastures, man-made structures, rocky edifices, woodland hollows, pathways, waterways, moorlands, gardens …… in fact every patch in the quilt that covers Britain’s unique and varied topography.