Pernhart put his embellishments on this magnificent view of the mountains from modern-day Gozd Martuljek – he sharpened their peaks and presented each of them as separate faces in a group portrait. From left to right, we have Veliki Oltar, Velika Ponca, Mala Ponca, Špik, and Frdamane Police.
Alpine depictions became more common in the 19th century, as the magnificent infinity of nature was juxtaposed against the fleetingness of the human condition. Perhart’s scene also shows cabins and logs in front of them, hinting at the region’s economy, along with mills, water-powered sawmills, limestone, and clear-cut groves in the forest, as can be seen in other works from the Carinthian painter and his contemporaries, such as Anton Karinger. Peaks reinterpreted as triangular were also typical of Franz Steinfeld, the renowned Viennese landscape professor.
Although we could be tempted in such portrayals to seek hints at how intimate knowledge of nature goes hand in hand with its exploitation, the proximity of industrial infrastructure to natural resources was nonetheless extremely practical. Because of the chalk deposits, a cement raw mill was founded in Mojstrana at the end of the 19th century. The whole area around Jesenice was engaged in mining and refining, even back in the Middle Ages, and in modern times it was also home to an important railroad junction towards the regions north of the Alps. This juxtaposition of environment and industry continues today, as Jesenice and its steel factories border right on Triglav National Park, the largest protected territory in Slovenia.