Preserving the Picturesque: Perceptions of Landscape, Landscape Art, and Land Protection in the United States and China
“No work of art can be great, but as it deceives; to be otherwise is the prerogative of nature only”. (p. 59)
2. A Peopled Nature Leads to a Nature Apart from People
2.1. Nature as an Expression of the Sublime
The splendor of the Wu mountain is matchless,Paths carve and pile, one on another.Climb the cliffs and look down—There the waters surge near the great slope.After the rain, the sky clears—Now see the assemblage of streams!The roar of the rushing waters is deafeningAs the torrents churn and race to their source.…Great waves overflow the banks.Rushing, leaping, they strike at one another,And rise like clouds in a clash of sound.…
2.2. Taming the Sublime in the Picturesque
The official guardians’ axes have spread through a thousand hills,At the Works Department’s order hacking rafter-beams and billets.Of ten trunks cut in the woodlands’ depths, only one gets hauled away.Ox-teams strain at their traces—‘til the paired yoke-shafts break.Great-girthed trees of towering height lie blocking the forest tracks,A tumbled confusion of lumber, as flames on the hillside crackle.Not even the last remaining shrubs are safeguarded from destruction;Where once the mountain torrents leapt—nothing but rotted gullies.Timbers, not yet seasoned or used, left immature to rot;Proud summits and deep-sunk gorges now—brief hummocks of naked rock.
3. Scenic Visions Guide Preservation
3.1. Scenery as Landscape Architecture in the United States National Parks
“…(t)he enjoyment of scenery employs the mind without fatigue and yet exercises it; tranquilizes it and yet enlivens it; and thus, through the influence of the mind over the body, gives the effect of refreshing rest and reinvigoration to the whole system”.
“In studying new park projects, you should seek to find scenery of supreme and distinctive quality or some national feature so extraordinary or unique as to be of national interest and importance. You should seek distinguished examples of typical forms of world architecture; such, for instance, as the Grand Canyon, as exemplifying the highest accomplishment of stream erosion, and the high, rugged portion of Mount Desert Island as exemplifying the oldest rock forms in America and the luxuriance of deciduous forests”.(; emphasis added)
3.2. Landscape Protection in China
4. Moving Forward: Landscape Aesthetics and Land Protection in the 21st Century
Conflicts of Interest
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Ellison, A.M. Preserving the Picturesque: Perceptions of Landscape, Landscape Art, and Land Protection in the United States and China. Land 2014, 3, 260-281. https://doi.org/10.3390/land3010260
Ellison AM. Preserving the Picturesque: Perceptions of Landscape, Landscape Art, and Land Protection in the United States and China. Land. 2014; 3(1):260-281. https://doi.org/10.3390/land3010260Chicago/Turabian Style
Ellison, Aaron M. 2014. "Preserving the Picturesque: Perceptions of Landscape, Landscape Art, and Land Protection in the United States and China" Land 3, no. 1: 260-281. https://doi.org/10.3390/land3010260