Vista, vision and visual consumption from the age of enlightenment

Helene de Burgh-Woodman, Janice Brace-Govan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on previous discussions of visual consumption in marketing, this paper uses two historical examples to examine visuality and the enduring effect of the Age of Enlightenment on visual consumption. Drawing on the French garden and the philosophical trope of the Molyneux Man, the manner in which the consumption experience is mediated and narrated through vision is considered. It is argued that cultural perspective and individual perception work in constant dialogue to produce an individual's ability to consume, or 'take in', visual signs inherent to our world. From the Enlightenment, this interaction has characterized the contemporary consumer's world, but, importantly for marketing communications, this becomes more significant in today's burgeoning visual consumption experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-191
Number of pages19
JournalMarketing Theory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural perspective
  • Individual perception
  • Marketing communications
  • Vision
  • Vista
  • Visual consumption


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