By Jean de Pomereu.
More than just a place, Antarctica is an ideal that first began to inspire artists, writers and cartographers long before the continent was first sighted in 1820. Ever since its earliest exploration, painters and draughtsmen have taken part in expeditions to document and record the process of geographic and scientific discovery.
‘I try in vain to be persuaded that the pole is the seat of frost and desolation; it ever presents itself to my imagination as the region of beauty and delight.’ So begins modernity’s ur-tale of humanity’s terrifying and seductive relationship to nature’s powers: Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein (1818). […]