The Representation of Landscape: Some Considerations on Its Origins

The Representation of Landscape: Some Considerations on Its Origins

Piero Barlozzini Laboratory University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy

1 February 2018
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Our era is decidedly that of the landscape, at least regarding its verbal and iconic reproduction. One definition, supported by the fields of geography, aesthetics, and law, describes it as a complex of natural and manmade elements that interact within a territory, considered not only from the aspects of function and quantity but also of morphology and quality. In particular, this article investigates the relationship between landscape and graphic language, in particular looking back at the actual situation in which the metric-representative problems manifested themselves that created a tangible crisis in primitive graphic language. It was this crisis that forced our ancestors to begin a cognitive process, which made it possible to formulate the first graphic transposition of visual elements made according to a logical procedure. For this discussion, the information is taken from work shared by the international scholarly community and the choice is guided by the archaeological finds housed in the museums of past civilizations. Particular attention is focused on the ‘primordial’ works that are considered representations of the territory, urban fabrics, or rural activities. For us, these finds are of fundamental interest as they mark the evolution of the representation of landscape. Indeed, they render comprehensible the break that sanctions the transition from the ‘primitive’ graphic system, which we consider spontaneous and personal, to the ‘ancient’ one, that of the first deductive thought, which if not collective is certainly to be considered corporative. The substantial numbers of archaeological finds, but above all the power of expression of some examples have convinced us that the innovation made to the graphic system by these drawings is of great intellectual weight. In fact, they have become the basis of the research, which today leads to the creation of increasingly more detailed representations, to the depiction of earth’s finished image.


landscape, representation, survay, sustainability


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