Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




...Since identifying Eagles as at least one of the artists of the 1812 Collection, I have discovered that his specific tour of the Lakes, the route he followed and the scenery conveyed in his images, deviated from the conventional tours in that Eagles was in search of what he regarded as a poetical landscape rather than a traditionally picturesque one. In other words, Eagles sought to capture more than an aesthetically pleasing scene as a picturesque image would, he endeavored to capture the soul of the scene and the 1812 Collection is evidence that Eagles practiced the artistic principles he so often espoused. As such, the 1812 Collection offers further implications for Eagles's body of work, his aesthetic, and his strong criticisms of the changes he witnessed in landscape art during his lifetime. In this essay, I therefore propose demonstrate not only how the 1812 Collection is in critical conversation with the picturesque tradition, but also how Eagles's sketches, like his writings and criticisms, expressed his own guiding aesthetic on discovering the poetry of nature instead of a strictly picturesque aesthetic. In doing so, I hope to restore Eagles's reputation as an artist and art critic as well as reveal the historical importance of the recently rediscovered 1812 Collection.