Andrews' Chapter 4, 'Topography' and the Beau Ideal', presents two extremes of landscape style. It may be that any given depiction of place can be located on a continuum between these two extremes since in practice, as Andrews acknowledges towards the end of his discussion, 'polarities are not as sharply antithetical as they might seem and... sharp distinctions... seldom exist.' In concluding the chapter with a discussion of a magnificent painting by Rubens, Andrews gives one example of how the tensions between styles may be resolved.
On the continuum, at the extreme left as it were, is the 'mere mechanick' of the faithful presentation of particular places (not unrelated to mapping) exemplified by the Protestant Dutch, and evidenced in a painting by Ruisdael (below) and in unassuming etchings by the splendidly named 'Master of the Small Landscapes'.
I'm reminded of the modest paintings of the Norwich School (John Crome, John Sell Cotman and others) in Norwich Castle which are very much in the same tradition. Also of the minor painter Thomas Churchyard (1798 - 1865), to whom I'm related, a fact in which I take inordinate pleasure given the convoluted (though fully documented) link between us.
In contrast and on the right (as it were) are the works of Franco-Italian painters such as Claud Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. Absolutely nothing modest here. Rather, these theatrical effusions, thoroughly divorced from any specific place, are packed with intellectual pretensions, pastoral lushness and overwrought emoting.
These works bear little resemblance to the real world. They're not meant to. They 'represent the poetry of landscape, the elevation of a lowly genre from mere portraiture of place to ideal models of human happiness or heroic dignity'. In this sentence it's the word 'mere' that says it all.