The first critical exploration of landscape painting in antiquity and the debated autonomy of the genre
The first critical exploration of landscape painting in antiquity and the debated autonomy of the genre, conducted by one of the major historians of Greek and Roman art
The volume opens with a wide-ranging discussion of the concept of landscape in Graeco-Roman culture, a pictorial genre that would seem paradoxically suburban despite the fact that ancient art was essentially directed at the
representation of the real.
The book then examines the different types of landscape common in the Hellenistic world, starting from “chorography”, a cartographic painting devoted to the representation of the various regions of the known world (with animals and inhabitants), which influenced the birth of hybrid forms such as the brightly lit bird’s eye views of cities. Ample space is then devoted to landscape, which always predominated over human figures in the impressionistic painting of the heroic cycles, and to the highly popular “idyllic-sacred” art which appears in refined forms in paintings in Rome and the Vesuvian cities