Mountains as a Way of Seeing: From Mount of Temptation to Mont Blanc

  • Veronica della Dora


Mountains move as we shift our gaze. Yet, mountain encounters have also shaped and reflected shifting ways of seeing. Not only are mountains the most visible landmarks in the landscape, they are also privileged vantage points. According to Italian geographer Franco Farinelli, the modern idea of landscape was born only when mountains were measured and the maximum horizon defined. Yet, the view from above embeds a fundamental tension between mastery and vertigo; between detachment from and immersion in the landscape. The experience of modernity is itself articulated through this tension. This chapter navigates modern and pre-modern iconic encounters ‘from above’ which have determined our way of looking at the world. The perspectival view from above is contrasted with other non-linear ‘ways of seeing’, including Chinese landscape painting, Byzantine icons, and cubist art.


Views from above Perspective Mountain horizons 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Veronica della Dora
    • 1
  1. 1.Royal Holloway, University of LondonEghamUK

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