The Alps in Panoramic Paintings
These remarkable vintage map artworks, both hand drawn and painted, capture the beauty of the Alps more effectively than any camera or computer.
As downhill skiing became popular in 20th-century Europe, resorts in the Austrian, German, French, and Swiss Alps commissioned paintings of their ski runs to turn into maps. The best of these paintings are now featured in this book showing the artists’ ability to combine technical virtuosity, geographic information, and creative flair. The undoubted master of panoramic map painting is H. C. Berann, and many examples of his works are shown in this beautiful volume, along with a select handful of artists from throughout Europe. Detailing scenes of the Alpine range from Slovenia to France, each of these images was created by hand from aerial photography, mostly shot by the artists on helicopter rides through the mountains. The paintings themselves cleverly combine multiple perspectives so that all trails, terrain, and mountain features are visible. In these exquisite reproductions, the paintings have been stripped of all references to the ski trails, allowing viewers to focus entirely on the beauty of the colors, composition, and detail. A joy to study and savor, these dramatic and vivid paintings recall a time when the human hand was the best means of translating the Alps’ towering beauty to the general public.
Tom Dauer is a journalist, filmmaker, producer, and author based in southern Germany, near the Alps. An avid mountaineer, he regularly writes for National Geographic Magazine and other outdoor publications. He was recently awarded the Austrian Film Award for his co-directed movie Streif: »One Hell of a Ride«.