Like J B Allcock, I give this one 4 stars. It is a study of the development of the portrayal of landscape in art from the earliest times to pretty much up to date with first publication in 1949. Clark is interested in what is going on in the minds of artists and why they portray landscape in the way they do. Thus we have a thread of art history traced through the centuries, illuminating a surprising amount about art in general along the way. The book is developed from a series of lectures.
Usually the books of Kenneth Clark - now unjustly neglected - get it spot on with a truly remarkable blend of stuff and style. Here, the "stuff" is plentifully present but the author has yet to develop that brisk, vivid style which transformed his later books from textbooks into page-turners. Don't get me wrong, the text is clear and readable - it just lacks the pzazz of his more popular books. Oh, and the illustrations are, I agree, truly lamentable.