The Time of the Landscape


On the Origins of the Aesthetic Revolution

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ISBN: 9781509548156 Category:

<p>The time of the landscape is not the time when people started describing landscapes in poems or representing gardens in works of art: it is the time when the landscape imposed itself as a specific object of thought. This object of thought was constituted through quarrels about how gardens were to be arranged, through accounts of travels to solitary lakes and remote mountains, or through evocations of mythological or rustic paintings.</p> <p>Jacques Ranci&egrave;re retraces these narratives and quarrels, showing how they gave rise to a form of sensibility capable of modifying the existing configuration of modes of perception and objects of thought. The time of the landscape is the time when both the harmony of arranged gardens and the disharmony of wild nature contributed to a revolution in the criteria of the beautiful and the meaning of the word &lsquo;art&rsquo;. It coincided with the birth of aesthetics, understood as a regime for the perception of and thinking about art, and also with the French Revolution, understood as a revolution in the very idea of what binds a human community. The time of the landscape was the time when the conjunction of these two upheavals brought into focus, however hazily, a common horizon: that of a revolution that no longer concerns only state laws or artistic norms, but the very forms of sensible experience.</p> <p>This brilliant and wide-ranging book will be of interest to students and scholars in philosophy, literature, the visual arts and the humanities generally, and it will appeal to anyone interested in critical theory and philosophy.</p>