The nineteenth-century hunting world
in The Empire of Nature
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In Britain the nineteenth-century hunting cult had an extraordinary range of cultural manifestations. As the century progressed the hunting cult was transferred overseas, often searching for a genuine wilderness, and generated an entire ethos which distinguished certain characteristics of the Hunt as markers of civilisation and gentlemanly conduct. The best way for us to approach the hunting cult in the new landscape is perhaps through its architectural expression and the influence of animals on interior decoration. Edwin Landseer epitomised the role of hunting in nineteenth-century culture, transforming the innocence and easy self-confidence of eighteenth-century sporting paintings into a deeply self-conscious and often troubled response to the natural world. Hunters made the connections between empire and natural history even more explicit. In the development of both the study and display areas of the natural history museums the scientists and museum curators were dependent upon imperial hunters.

The Empire of Nature

Hunting, Conservation and British Imperialism


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