Sunday, 12 April 2009


The tourist season has started as can be evidenced by the number of cars, bicycles, camper vans and RVs on the Loch Lomond road. I had to pay a visit to Auchenheglish Lodge to check on our June booking for our Swedish and German visitors. The lodge is just out of sight of this photo. Alongside where I parked were quite a few other cars in the parking area, with their occupants grabbing their cameras to take photos of some fishermen (in their boat) out on the loch in the early morning. (They are out of sight on the right of this picture.)

And on the topic of beautiful landscapes ... I picked up our copy of Prospect this morning and came across this article. It seems we, as human beings, respond positively to landscape pictures. It doesn't matter what the culture, apparently.

This fellow thinks it might be tied up with our evolutionary background.

Apparently, in the 1990s an experiment by the expatriate Russian artists Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid showed that people in 10 countries preferred landscapes of a certain savanna-like sort - "with trees and open areas, water, human figures, and animals", the sort of thing you get in calendars.

Dutton thinks that calendar-makers, in responding to "human landscape tastes," are in fact "catering to prehistoric tastes shared by their customers around the globe," a yen for the territory from which we evolved.

"The art instinct proper," he writes, "is not a single genetically driven impulse similar to the liking for sweetness but [it is] a complicated ensemble of impulses - sub-instincts, we might say - that involve responses to the natural environment, to life's likely threats and opportunities, the sheer appeal of colors or sounds, social status, intellectual puzzles, extreme technical difficulty, erotic interests, and even costliness. There is no reason to hope that this haphazard concatenation of impulses, pleasures, and capacities can be made to form a pristine rational system."

There is lots about the book here on Amazon and it seems I already read this fellow as per the Art & Letters Daily link in the LINKS sidebar way, way, below right.

1 comment:

Vagabonde said...

This is a truly beautiful picture of the lake and clouds - it's the type of picture which, if you look at it for a little while, takes your stress away and gives you serenity. Beautiful landscapes are exhilarating. I used to get to work ½ early and drink my coffee while, at first, reading the news then switching to a site, WebShots, which has great pictures – just watching their gallery of landscapes, seascapes and flowers put me in a great mood, erased the bad news and my work did not seem so overbearing.