For a long time in the history of painting, the landscape functioned merely as a backdrop for people, buildings or symbols. But in the 17th century, artists started making paintings using the landscape as the central subject. The one shown here is the work of Pieter Molijn. Landscape paintings taught people to appreciate the landscape solely for its beauty. Today, this has resulted in the construction of mobile-phone antenna masts dressed up to look like trees. A regular mast, of course, would spoil the landscape.