Le Mont Blanc by Jean Antoine Linck

Le Mont Blanc by Jean Antoine Linck
Le Mont Blanc by Jean Antoine Linck

On other occasions we have told you about European travelers from the highest social classes who, from the 17th century to the 19th, undertook the Grand Tour, which consisted of a journey above all through Italy to discover its historical and artistic treasures. And for that distinguished clientele, many artists created paintings and views of the places they visited, in order to sell them. A type of painting whose greatest representatives were in Venice, where painters such as Canaletto or Francesco Guardi painted countless vedute or views of the city of canals.


Le Mont Blanc by Jean Antoine Link

Well, that phenomenon didn't just happen in Italy, it also arose in other parts of Europe. And one of them was the Alpes, some mountains that also began to be very visited at that time and the first expeditions were even started to summit their highest and most beautiful peaks. Among which, without a doubt, the highest peak of the mountain range stands out, the Mont Blanc, with its 4,810 meters above sea level.

This mountain with its great glacier on its slopes, the so-called Gouter Needle and the parish church of Chamonix is what this painting by the Swiss painter and engraver shows us Jean Antoine Linck (1766 – 1843). An artist who lived his whole life in his nativeGenevaand who made numerousalpine views destined to be bought by rulers and aristocrats.

And of course also some of his prints would be bought by the mountaineers of the time, who were a mix of rich, adventurous and scientific. In fact, when he was a child, expeditions had begun to tread the summit of Mont Blanc in exchange for a large sum of money. However, none had reached his target.

We had to wait until the year 1786 for this feat to finally be achieved by a doctor who wanted to verify the validity of some of Torricelli's theories about atmospheric pressure, accompanied by a young mineral prospector. A fact that increased even more the visits to the Alps and that of course favored the commissions to Linck.

However, surely the most interesting thing about this work from the end of the 18th century is to see how the alpine landscape has changed over the centuries, especially in relation to one issue, the progressive disappearance of the glaciers due to global warming. And it is that the current appearance of Mont Blanc, although it is still the "white mountain" shows us a clear decrease in the amount of ice and perpetual snow.

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