Renzo Dubbini: Geography of the Gaze: Urban and Rural Vision in Early Modern Europe (1994/2002)

22 April 2013, dusan

Geography of the Gaze offers a new history and theory of how the way we look at things influences what we see. Focusing on Western Europe from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, Renzo Dubbini shows how developments in science, art, mapping, and visual epistemology affected the ways natural and artificial landscapes were perceived and portrayed.

He begins with the idea of the “view,” explaining its role in the invention of landscape painting and in the definition of landscape as a cultural space. Among other topics, Dubbini explores how the descriptive and pictorial techniques used in mariners’ charts, view-oriented atlases, military cartography, and garden design were linked to the proliferation of highly realistic paintings of landscapes and city scenes; how the “picturesque” system for defining and composing landscapes affected not just art but also archaeology and engineering; and how the everchanging modern cityscapes inspired new ways of seeing and representing the urban scene in Impressionist painting, photography, and stereoscopy. A marvelous history of viewing, Geography of the Gaze will interest everyone from scientists to artists.

Originally published as Geografie dello sguardo: Visione e paesaggio in età moderna, Giulio Einaudi, Torino, 1994
Translated by Lydia G. Cochrane
Publisher University of Chicago Press, 2002
ISBN 0226167372, 9780226167374
251 pages

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