The landscape is the subject of many international studies involving different disciplines and bodies of knowledge, ranging from aesthetics to geography, environmental science to architecture. This text is a reflection on the historical dimension of landscapes, which traces their evolution in Western culture from the origins to today. The concept first emerged in the late Middle Ages within the realm of figurative arts, but at the onset of the modern era it took on a new scientific dimension thanks to the contributions of territorial studies, archaeology and the French, British, and German schools of anthropology. In recent decades the landscape has received an increasing amount of attention and is a central topic in the political and legislative agendas of the European Union. Tosco's text is a state-of-the-art account of the concept of landscape and clarifies the modern version of its history.
Carlo Tosco teaches History of Architecture and Landscape History and Conservation at the Polytechnic of Turin. He is also the former director of the Culture 2000 European Project on "The Holy Sepulchre Rotundas - European Itinerary".