The objective of the paper is to investigate how eighteenth-century Europeanvoyages into the Pacific ocean led to a geographic vision of empire, and how this vision connected increasing knowledge of natural history to depictions of European art. Exposure to tropical climates stimulated a new European sense and sensibility towards natural history, which in turn greatly affected the development of landscape painting in general and more particularly, artistic representation of the tropics. Voyages of some tropical natives into and encounters with Europe demonstrates that European enlightenment was culturally commensurable with tropical cultures. As a result of these voyages, European geographical exploration into the tropics shaped the process in which two dimensions of natural history, geological time and cosmological space, were transformed into artistic representations in the form of landscape paintings. The article provides some meaningful lessons for going beyond the conventional boundaries of historical geography, the history of science and art history to investigate eighteenth-century Europe in relation to visions of empire.
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