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A Lombardy Ploughing Team Annan, James Craig  (Scottish, 1864-1946)
His Lombardy Ploughing Team is unrivalled in force and colour. The group of oxen seen from behind is superb, as is their driver, viewed from beneath the shade of the trees, where, between the foliage, the sun throws bursts of light. In the background other groups of cattle are harnessed and ploughing the land. A majestic chain of mountains rises up hazily on the horizon. It is a grandiose scene, and, by the way it has been presented on the page, a real picture. — Edmond Sacre 1897

Indicative of Stieglitz’s regard for Annan’s work, three of his photogravures were included in a single issue of Camera Notes in 1901.  One of the images, Lombardy Ploughing Team, is part of a group of pastoral scenes made in Italy.  Though set in another country, the image typifies the strong British interest in idyllic landscapes, complete with farmer, trees, and animals.  Lombardy Ploughing Team presents an idealzed vsion of rural life that previously had been painted by Barbizon artists and was currently promoted by members of the English arts and crafts movement.  Annan avoided the mundane in this image, however, by utilizing an unorthdox pictures shape, probably influenced by Japanese art.

References

Peterson, Christian A. Alfred Stieglitz’s Camera Notes. Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1993. Print.

Edmond Sacre, Edmond ‘Exposition des Oeuvres de Craig Annan de Glasgow’. Bulletin de Association Beige de Photographic vol. 24, no. 6 (June 1897), p. 405-17. Translation from French