ALLURING LANDSCAPES


Alluring-Landscapes.jpg
Alexandre Calame (Swiss, 1810–1864), Route du Grimsel, no. 108 from Ĺ’uvres de A. Calame, 1855. Lithograph on paper. Clark Art Institute, 1983.9
 
The mountainous topographies, rocky bluffs, and plummeting waterfalls in this section of the exhibition illustrate how the modern foundation of geology and other natural sciences influenced nineteenth-century artistic portrayals of the landscape. The replication of nature’s minutest details elicited wonder and excitement among viewers who might imagine the exhilarating or even terrifying experience of traversing these remote geographies in reality.

By mid-century, the birth of photography also aided in the scientific study and documentation of unique geological features. Photographs transported visions of faraway locales to metropolitan centers where these extreme landscapes found widespread favor. Whether encountering the original photograph on display or a smaller reproduction printed in a magazine or newspaper, these images brought far-flung geographies into the popular mindset and encouraged nature-based tourism.