Landscapes of the Seven Continents

Landscapes of the Seven Continents

Marquand Mini Exhibit
June 2019

Summer is all about traveling and taking in the beautiful vistas of foreign lands. Therefore, the purpose of this display is to showcase the different ways that artists have depicted the diverse landscapes of the seven continents. Since there is some disagreement on how many continents there are because world geography is taught differently in different parts of the world, I would like to clarify that in this display the seven continents are: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America. For me it was interesting to see which unique geographic features of each continent’s respective landscapes were emphasized in the artistic renderings.

In Antarctica, the presence of ice is of course highlighted, but there also tend to be boats or human settlers present in the landscape paintings or drawings. I figure this is because the people who created these landscapes are typically a part of expeditions to Antarctica so the ships and people that brought them there are strongly featured. Nonetheless, it is interesting that human life becomes a big part of the artistic rendering of Antarctica’s landscape despite the lack of permanent human residents. Similarly, the first Western landscape renderings of Africa were drawn to designate what parcels of land settlers would have when they got there. The influence of colonization on representations of Africa is another interesting example of how a region’s history and culture can impact the artistic renderings of landscapes. As for the other continents, the unique natural features that are highlighted in these artworks are captivating and interesting: e.g. the rocky cliffs of China, the plains of Australia, the jungles of South America, and the interesting waterways of America.

Additionally, the beauty of the natural landscapes in these paintings and drawings across the seven continents is also an important reminder of how beautiful this planet is and the fact that these views are slowly disappearing due to urban expansion and climate change. It is important to recognize this beauty but also consider ways to protect these natural landscapes.

Annie Sullivan-Crowley ‘21


June Exhibit














On display:

John Beardsley
Cultural Landscape Heritage in Sub-Saharan Africa
Washington, D.C. : Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2016
Marquand, SB469.35.A35 D86 2016

Denise M. Gerson
Paradise Lost?: Aspects of Landscape in Latin American Art
Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami, 2003
Marquand, N8213.P36 2003

Robert M. Lindholm
Karl Bodmer's America Revisited: Landscape Views across Time
Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 2013
Marquand Photography, TR660.5 .L56 2013

Barbara C. Matilsky
Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012
Bellingham, WA: Whatcom Museum, 2013
Marquand, N8213.M385 2013

William Splatt
100 Masterpieces of Australian Landscape Painting
Adelaide: Rigby, 1978
Marquand, ND1367.A85 O53 1978

Fronia E. Wissman
European Vistas/Cultural Landscapes
Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts, 2000
Marquand, N8213.W57 2000

Liu Yang
Fantastic Mountains: Chinese Landscape Painting from the Shanghai Museum
Sydney: Art Gallery NSW, 2004
Marquand, N8214.5.C6 L59 2004q