Visualizing landscapes

Authored by: Lewis Gill , Eckart Lange

The Routledge Companion to Landscape Studies

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  February  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415684606
eBook ISBN: 9780203096925
Adobe ISBN: 9781136220609


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For reasons of artistic merit or decision making, people have always striven to capture the essence of both natural and built environments that surround them. Wall paintings created by the ancient Egyptians capture long lost gardens in pictorial form, such as the garden of Sebekhotep found on a tomb wall in Thebes (Carroll 2003: 17). These early images mix together plan, elevation and bird’s eye viewpoints, making it hard for the modern eye to interpret (Gothein 1966). However, the acceptance and consistent usage of perspective in the Renaissance period contributed to more accurate depictions of landscapes, leading to the creation of images that resemble the real world rather closely. Audiences in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries were amazed by the creation of Eidophusikons, ‘moving’ pictures created by eighteenth-century English painter Philip James de Loutherbourg, dioramas or largescale panoramic paintings. These can be seen as the equivalent of IMAX cinemas of today. Related to these developments is a more abstract form of landscape visualization; cartography, which also has a long and rich pedigree (Ehrenberg 2005).

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