Technologies of the Picturesque: British Art, Poetry, and Instruments 1750-1830 (Bucknell Studies in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture)
"Technologies of the Picturesque" is an original study of how art and technology mutually align their representations of nature in order to transform land into intelligible landscapes. Ron Broglio explores three technologies in eighteenth-century Britain whose influence on the picturesque aesthetic has been overlooked: cartography, meteorology, and animal breeding. He traces how these scientific fields influence the works of Wordsworth, Gilpin, Constable, Gainsborough and other key figures of the period. Broglio argues that technology and interior experience of the poetic subject overlap in their means and methods of removing the viewer from nature, while presenting the land as a comprehensible object.Each chapter pairs archival research with a phenomenological critique of how representation abstracts from the lived engagement with the land. With considerable learning and insight, Broglio reveals how artists are both complicit with such objectification of nature, and at other moments work toward a more vivid connection to the environment.