The concept of “landscape
” is not only a generally accepted interpretation of the genre of painting, which reads: landscape is an image of nature in its original or transformed form. It is also a combination of sensations, emotions and images, transferred by the artist to the canvas, which complements the documentary reflection of his environment. The viewer does not just see a canvas with nature views painted on it – he/she also meets the inner world of the painter and gets the opportunity to experience the peculiarities of the world outlook that prevailed in those days.
The paintings by landscape artists who worked in different eras basically corresponded to the needs of society of the time. However, there are many paintings, in which the artists decided to go against the trends that prevailed in contemporary art. Accustomed to certain artistic techniques, the audience met such works disapprovingly: for example, the first impressionists were forced to organize an exhibition of their works on their own, because the Paris Salon refused to accept them, and mocking articles by critics appeared in the press. Among the well-known artists who were sharply criticized by the contemporaries, was William Turner
: public was rather irritated by his pictures of the nature, which he created in the late period of his career.
The landscape genre has evolved over the centuries – from fuzzy, vague forms that served as the backdrop for paramount subject, to modern classification by its type: urban, marine, rural, steppe, mountain, river, and even celestial landscape. What previously served as an optional decoration, turned into the main object of an image.
For a landscape painter, it was important not only to transfer to canvas the realistic look that appeared in front of one’s eyes, but also to convey the relationship between nature and man. Each artist used special tricks: for example, in Giorgione’s “Thunderstorm
”, the thundercloud, split in two by the lightning, sets an alarming tone for the whole subject. A similar cloud can be seen in paintings by other landscape painters: “View of Toledo
” by El Greco, “The Watering Place” by Fragonard
, “The Little Street
” by Vermeer, etc.
The landscapes by the Dutch artists such as Brueghel the Elder
or Vermeer van Delft
are distinguished by the restraint of colours and emotions, whereas the paintings by Rubens (“The Rainbow Landscape
”), François Boucher (“The Milliner
”) and Joseph Vernet
(“Waterfall in Tivoli”) are filled with bright colours and life. The landscape genre was also popular among the cubist artists (Picasso
), surrealists (Dalí
) and abstractionists (Frankenthaler
), who depicted nature in their inherent manner.
Speaking about nature paintings by famous artists, we should also mention Russian masters of the genre, such as Isaac Levitan
, Ivan Aivazovsky
, Valentin Serov
, Ivan Shishkin
, Alexey Savrasov
, Arkhip Kuindzhi
, Nikolai Ge
, Kazimir Malevich
. Their artworks, which depicte nature of their native land, create a special mood and inspire to leisurely thoughts.
You can view the landscape paintings by the famous artists in detail by examining our selection. Here, you will find both world masterpieces and little-known works by the artists of different eras.