Technologies of the Picturesque

Ron Broglio

British Art, Poetry, and Instruments 1750-1830

236 pages
ISBN 0-8387-5700-0
Bucknell Studies in Eighteenth Century Literature and Culture

Technologies of the Picturesque is an original study of how art and technology mutually align their representations of nature in order to transform land into intelligible landscapes. Ron Broglio explores three technologies in eighteenth-century Britain whose influences on the picturesque aesthetic has been overlooked: cartography, meteorology, and animal breeding. He traces how these scientific fields influence the works of Wordsworth, Gilpin, Constable, Gainsborough and other key figures of the period. Broglio argues that technology and interior experience of the poetic subject overlap in their means and methods of removing the viewer from nature, while presenting the land as a comprehensive object.

"Ron Broglio's Technologies of the[s] poetry to science and allied philosophical and literary movements. Broglio is a teacher of animal studies, and his chapters on cattle remind us that cows are an important element in the picturesque...His comparisons of Thomas Gainsborough's, John Constable's, and Joseph Turner's cattle are both entertaining and informative, especially in the way he includes scientific information."

Paula R. Backscheider, "Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century." Studies in English Literature 2009: 780.

"The strength of Broglio's argument lies in his ability to move across disciplines, utilize extensive archival research, and engage productively with contemporary theory. His analysis of cattle-breeding techniques in itself represents a significant contribution to the developing field of animal studies."

R.D. Morrison, CHOICE 2008: 2149.

"Ron Broglio's recent book, Technologies of the Picturesque...offers readers a fresh opportunity to engage with all the confusion and complexity we associate with the picturesque."

Jennifer J. Jones, Erudit 2009.

About the author:

Ron Broglio is an Assistant Professor at Georgia Institute for Technology's School of Literature, Communication, and Culture where he teaches eighteenth-century and British Romantic litearture as well as animal studies.


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