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Title: Non ci può essere salvaguardia ambientale senza amore. E' il messaggio del pittore Thomas Cole, in Sicilia nel 1842
Authors: Fabienne Charlotte Orazie Vallino 
Issue Date: 2006
This essay pertains to the field of the history of Nature's protection and fight against its destruction, of ethics for its respect and politics for its defence.
The theory and the movement for the Conservation of Nature are deeply rooted in the North American culture. They unmistakably first arose in the United States in the second half of 19th century. In fact, they found the way clear towards favourable outcomes, already in the first half of the century, thanks to the conceptions and activities of a considerable group of intellectuals who perceived the North American Wilderness, then still uncontaminated and luxuriant, as the very monument, the natural sanctuary representing the energy of the United States, having become independent and aiming to develop a cultural identity autonomous from the European old models. Wilderness became a crucial ingredient of the United States’ national ego. Writers, poets, journalists, essayists, and most of all painters, through their works heroized, glorified the Wilderness: this was a new outlook that entailed -as a logical consequence- its protection and defence, both moral and legal. The beginnings of the Conservation Movement stem from these intellectuals' enthusiasm for the Wilderness, their passion for untamed nature and its creatures.
An outstanding figure of this intellectual group was the Painter, Poet and Essayist Thomas Cole (1801 – 1848) who also spent long periods of time travelling through Italy, drawn by the comparison between the historical landscapes of the Old Continent and the vitality of the natural scenery of the New Continent. It is this Artist, almost unknown in Italy, to whom this essay is dedicated: it is focused on the critical analysis of his accounts on the condition of the environment of Sicily of the first half of 19th century. From it arises a striking comparison between the state of the landscape and sites at the time and those of today, as well as the conviction that the conditions of the ecological and environmental impoverishment of Sicily, among which soil degradation, have far-reaching origins in a mentality of indifference for Nature considered only as an inexhaustible resource to exploit.
The approach chosen by the Author is interdisciplinary and innovative.
Based particularly on the systematic study the vast personal Archives left by Thomas Cole (kept in the United States), this essay analyses and includes a variety of data: drawings, paintings, writing, poems, sketches and unpublished documents and writings of the Artist.
ISBN: 978-88-555-2876-4
Appears in Collections:B1. Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)

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