TOURS

In collaboration with Alex McKay, Ellen Harvey offered tours of the Citadel Park which attempted to recreate the experience of an 18th century landscape tourist. The seven sites illustrated in the guide were assessed using the guidebook and viewed through McKay's collection of Claude Glasses.

A Claude Glass is a slightly convex dark mirror, used by artists and tourists in the 18th Century to view the landscape. The convex nature of the mirror condensed the view into a manageable composition, and the dark tint allowed artists to see the relative tonal values of the view. The effect produced was thought to be similar to the paintings of Claude Lorrain and was much praised by Gilpin. With the advent of photography and a privileging of direct observation in art, the Claude Glass was all but forgotten; a few survived as curiosities. In collaboration with C. Suzanne Matheson, a scholar of the period, Canadian artist Alex McKay has spent the last nine years researching, writing about and ultimately recreating and using this lost optical device.

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