The Travel Writers Applied the Picturesque to Many Different Types of Landscapes

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Online PR News – 13-October-2010 – – For the most part, the picturesque was used in the general sense of the word, to refer to landscapes that looked like a picture. In the description of a picturesque landscape, Thomas Rolph wrote, "The view on each side was a perfect picture of itself, greatly heightened and improved by the contrast." As such, the scene was generally the most important characteristic. This scene could be viewed from the ship, but it could also be framed from a closer perspective, though still from Vibram KSO( outside the landscape. For example, travel writers often appreciated landscapes from a place of accommodation on land or from an appropriate vantage point above the landscape and could view it as they would a painting.

Consistent with the concept of the picturesque, such landscapes deemed picturesque were most commonly characterized by contrast. The scenes generally possessed features that were visually interesting and varied, often in unexpected ways. For example, in Trinidad, John Boddam Whetham found that "The scenery was bold and picturesque, and the richly clad mountains were of a deep green flushed in spots, with the crimson canopies of the 'bois immortelle.'" According to Dr. William Tail, of all the West Indian Islands, Dominica is the loveliest and most picturesque. It is extremely mountainous, some of the peaks rising to a height of 4000 feet, and densely clothed with vegetation, which far from presenting to the eye one uniform mass of green, varies immensely, from yellow through all the shades of green to pale cobalt blue.

The travel writers applied the picturesque to many different types of landscapes. While some used the term to describe cultivated landscapes or even urban ones, it was most commonly applied to natural or Five Fingers KSO( wild landscapes. In fact, Trollope specified that "It is the waste land of the world that makes it picturesque." Nonetheless, most of the islands in the British West Indies were thought to possess picturesque landscapes. The only islands that the travel writers frequently determined did not fit their notions of the picturesque were the flatter, highly cultivated islands of Antigua and Barbados. The exception to the latter island was the area known as the Scottish Highlands. Some of the writers actually considered Barbados to be an example of what picturesque scenery was not. For example, the idea of the picturesque that Dr. Richard Robert Madden held was composed of distinct landscape features. He wrote, "If rivers, mountains, and forests are necessary ingredients in the composition of a beautiful landscape, Barbadian scenery has no claim to picturesque attractions". Similarly, Trollope determined that "Barbados is a very respectable little island, and it makes a great deal of sugar. It is not picturesquely beautiful, as are almost all of the other Antilles, and therefore has but few attractions for strangers."