Why was the art of landscape painting invented in the fifth century BC, abandoned with the collapse of Rome, and revived again in the High Middle Ages? Did the Greeks, or the ancient Christians perceive the natural world differently from the way we do now? In Poetry, Space, Landscape, Chris Fitter traces the history of nature-sensibility from the ancient world to the English Renaissance, setting poems and paintings in the widely differing cultural contexts that created them. He suggests a new social and historical theory of the conceptualisation of space, explaining the rise and fall of the idea of 'landscape'. And he argues that enduring basic categories of perception create different readings of natural reality determined by our social and material relations with nature.
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