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Travel, Modernity and Rural Landscapes in Nineteenth-Century Liguria



New roads and, later, railways were essential for the modernisation and rapid economic development of north-western Italy in the early nineteenth century. The new routes also encouraged an increasing number of foreign travellers to visit the region. They opened up fresh tracts of countryside and provided novel viewpoints and points of interest; many travellers took the opportunity to record these views with topographical drawings and watercolours. In this article we make use of some of these views to examine how the modernised transport routes released new places to be celebrated by tourists and became themselves features and objects of especial interest and comment. We examine the works of three artists, one English and two Italian, who depicted landscapes of contrasting rural Ligurian landscapes. Their drawings and prints are contextualised and interpreted with maps, field data, archival documents and contemporary descriptions of roads and railways by travellers and in guidebooks.



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72. Ibid., pp. 109–10.

73. Ibid., p. 161.

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81. The ‘vedutismo’ was the link between traditional eighteenth-century landscape art, characterised by a linearity of perspective and fixity of scene, and the realism of the nineteenth century that engaged with the subjectivity and emotional attitude of the artist: Beringheli, Germano, Dizionario degli artisti liguri (Genova, 1991); Papone and Serra, eds, En plein air.

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83. Hearder, Harry, Cavour (New York and London, 1994).

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