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Waterfall: Nature Culture; Brian J Hudson; 2012

Tags: waterfalls
Waterfall: Nature Culture; Brian J Hudson; 2012
Waterfall: Nature Culture; Brian J Hudson; 2012; Reaktion Books

"From Niagara Falls in North America to Angel Falls in Venezuela, Victoria Falls in Africa to Hannoki Falls in Japan, waterfalls provide some of the world’s most spectacular scenes. Whether thundering cataracts or exquisite cascades, these astonishing natural wonders attract hordes of visitors each year.


While waterfalls have often been considered in terms of their picturesque or sublime qualities, their rich cultural background has been neglected. In Waterfall, Brian Hudson portrays these marvels in a new light. He explores the many myths and legends that tumbling rivers and streams have inspired in cultures ranging from Native American to Celtic and Indian, and how they have been described by the poets and depicted in film and music. His examples of paintings by Chinese and Dutch Masters, the Hudson River School in America and in Britain by J.M.W. Turner, Thomas Girtin and others present a fascinating variety of approach and technique in artistic attempts to capture the wonders painters encountered. Waterfalls also influenced landscape architects, for artificial effects featuring cascading water have long been a staple of park, garden and even backyard design. Hudson also discusses the ecology of waterfalls and the conflict that arises from their importance as both a source of hydroelectric power and tourist income in many countries. Countless waterfalls have been sacrificed to ‘development’, and many more are currently under threat, as the demand for energy and water grows."

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