Ruth Pullin, 2016. "The artist as geotourist: Eugene von Guérard and the seminal sites of early volcanic research in Europe and Australia", Appreciating Physical Landscapes: Three Hundred Years of Geotourism, T. A. Hose
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The career of the Austrian-born landscape painter Eugene von Guérard (1811–1901) was defined by his travels, which took him to Italy and Germany in the 1830s and 1840s and to Australia and New Zealand between 1852 and 1882. Today he is recognized as one of Australia’s greatest nineteenth-century landscape painters. His formative years coincided with the emergence of geology as an independent scientific discipline and a growing awareness in the wider community of the role played by volcanic activity and other geological processes in the formation of the Earth’s geomorphology. This new understanding was particularly pertinent to landscape painters, whose very subject was the form of the land; in Germany, where von Guérard trained and worked between 1838 and 1852, its relevance for landscape painters was emphasized by the influential natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt and the scientist, landscape painter and art theorist Carl Gustav Carus. They argued that the artist should paint from a geologically informed perspective. Von Guérard’s interest in volcanic geology was sparked by his experiences in southern Italy, consolidated in Germany on expeditions through the Harz and Eifel regions and then fully realized in response to the landscapes of southeastern Australia. Through his informed portrayal of sites of geological significance in each hemisphere and through the cultural value invested in them as a consequence of his depiction of them, von Guérard epitomized that recently conceived construct: the geotourist.
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Appreciating Physical Landscapes: Three Hundred Years of Geotourism
Geotourism, as a form of sustainable geoheritage tourism, was defined and developed, from the early 1990s, to contextualize modern approaches to geoconservation and physical landscape management. However, its roots lie in the late seventeenth century and the emergence of the Grand Tour and its domestic equivalents in the eighteenth century. Its participants and numerous later travellers and tourists, including geologists and artists, purposefully explored wild landscapes as‘geotourists’.
The written and visual records of their observations underpin the majority of papers within this volume; these papers explore some significant geo-historical themes, organizations, individuals and locations across three centuries, opening with seventeenth century elite travellers and closing with modern landscape tourists. Other papers examine the resources available to those geotourists and explore the geotourism paradigm.
The volume will be of particular interest to Earth scientists, historians of science, tourism specialists and general readers with an interest in landscape history.