A thought… by Moss.
Stonehenge by Hesketh David Bell (1849 – 1872)
Can one ever imagine Stonehenge as peaceful and open as this painting, the clawed hand of industrial farming is still not to be seen, as are also the trees. Sometimes romantic versions of what we want and not what we have are just flights of fancy, as I am sure this painting is, though obviously painted when the dreaded car was yet to be seen. I have seen elsewhere discussion about the rocks in the foreground, not to be seen today, but I think a certain artistic licence is granted to artists, and Bell’s other work features dramatic rocky landscapes. Strangely it reminds me of the North York moors, featureless except for the open space but coloured by the vegetation of its underlying stone. Subject matter contrasts our lowly ‘peasant’ with his two cows and smattering of sheep against the far off prehistoric stones. Judge against the ‘horror’ of the traffic laden road which is the subject of controversy today and weep.
Stonehenge today. Image credit BBC News
See also Mike Pitts’ feature, What did the world heritage site mean to people who built Stonehenge? Nothing, here.