Mountains Run Mad: Picturesque Signatures in the Dolomites

  • William Bainbridge


The chapter explores ‘madness’ as a topographic trope to identify a distinct subcategory of mountains: mountains that are prominent for their iconic topography and chromatic allure; mountains whose particular landforms instantly capture the gaze of the onlooker for their steepness, their strangeness and aura of aesthetic disorder; mountains, finally, that stand out panoramically, and whose isolated appearance is able to attract the pen of the writer, the brush of the artist, the rope of the climber, or the camera of the tourist, with results, I claim, that shall all pertain to the heuristic toolkit of the geographer. These topographic characteristics aptly describe the Dolomite Mountains, finding a summary in the mountaineering concept of ‘prominence’, which becomes their scenic ‘signature’.


Topographic ‘madness’ Dolomite Mountains Aesthetics of ‘prominence’ 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Bainbridge
    • 1
  1. 1.Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British ArtLondonUK

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