Use of paintings in undergraduate courses is discussed to show their value in interpreting landscapes from the viewpoint of the physical sciences. Issues of realism and ways to distinguish evocative value from information value are evaluated. Paintings are used to (1) enliven lecture material, (2) test student knowledge and preconceptions, and (3) form the basis of term projects. Paintings reveal historic uses of coastal resources and changing cultural preferences and human values, and they reveal alterations that are of such small scale or local significance that they would be difficult to find in narrative accounts. Student projects evaluate landscape alterations revealed in works by the same artist or the artist's contemporaries or trace differences in alterations through time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Earth-Surface Processes