In the matter of the generation of a popular view of outstanding natural beauty, the painter Lorrain was prescient. Living in a pre-Romantic era, he did not depict those uninhabited wilderness panoramas that were to be esteemed in later centuries, such as with Salvatore Rosa. He painted a pastoral world of fields and valleys not distant from castles and towns. If the ocean horizon is represented, it is from the setting of a busy port. Perhaps to feed the public need for paintings with noble themes, his pictures include demigods, heroes and saints, even though his abundant drawings and sketchbooks prove that he was more interested in the interactions of people with the natural environment. This brings up an important difference between 'a landscape' and 'a scene', which involves the separation of interpretation from aeshetics and intent. A landscape is the historical outcome of the cultural life of a place, whereas a scene is a setting for future action. This difference is seen most clearly in the concept of landscape archaeology where the view encompasses systems and settings intimately related to human life. Rather than observing the beauty of the countryside, the view is studied primarily as a foundation to understand living and working. The reality of any landscape is understood in a symbolic mode of thinking, which is another way of saying that landscape is used as a key to understand cultures of the past. The underlying physical structure of the landscape is open to varying degrees of interpretation. This is largely because human interaction with landscapes occur over time and the current state is a complex historical formation.

Jarrold's Postcards