The yearning for the countryside (1800-1830)

The yearning for the countryside (1800-1830)

With the advent of Romanticism the Alps cease to inspire fear. Raw nature is seen as gentle and beautiful - an unspoilt alternative to the polluted cities. The urge to find ideal landscapes develops.

The Emperor's landscape viewer
Even the Emperor is infected with the fashionable enthusiasm for beautiful scenery. Ferdinand I sends artists, such as Jakob Alt, out to paint romantic scenery in the area of Lake Garda and all over Austria. He has a special viewer made for the pictures.

Homo touristicus
The word tourist turns up for the first time in about 1800, in English dictionaries. It is no coincidence that the concept is first noted in England, where the pace of industrialisation is the fastest in Europe. Nature, as perceived by the Romantic movement, offers an antidote to the polluted industrial cities. Those who can afford it go in search of it.