Landscape painting is the art of depicting natural scenery such as mountains, trees, fields, rivers and forests and can also cover the urban equivalent, often referred to as ‘cityscapes.’
It is thought that the earliest landscape paintings were frescos (a type of mural painting) from Minoan Greece in 1500 BCE. These commonly depicted hunting scenes, however unlike modern landscapes; they had a strong emphasis on human and animal figures, rather than just the landscape setting.
Today landscape art is very popular; however this was not always the case. Many years ago, it was considered ‘low in status’ as portraits were at the height of fashion and were what people were most willing to pay a lot of money for.
However over the years this art form gained popularity, as more and more artists took on the difficult challenge of creating landscape art. One of the most famous landscape painters was Thomas Gainsborough (1727 – 1788). He was known for creating simple yet striking landscapes and is credited as being the originator of the 18th century British landscape school.
Landscape art covers a wide range of painting styles and genres including abstract, impressionism, realism, surrealism and photorealism, with something to suit all tastes.
Landscape art depicts nature at its finest by capturing the beauty of mountains, valleys, water, field and forests. It first emerged as a Western independent genre during the Renaissance of the 16th century. Early landscape arts sought to illustrate an ideal landscape recalling Arcadia, a legendary but quiet and serene part of Greece known for its pastoral beauty. In classical landscape, the positioning of objects was always carefully placed to present a harmonious and timeless mood. The classic landscape style was perfected by French artists Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain. Both had spent many years in Rome and were inspired by the countryside. Poussin believed that landscapes could express powerful emotions in the same way human drama depicted in history painting. Thus, he strived to elevate the landscape to a higher status. We believe he succeeded, judging by the continued success and popularity of this genre today.
As you browse our landscape art collection, you may well notice three main styles appearing time and time again. They can be defined as representational, impressionistic and abstract; each of these styles has its own characteristics and features.
Landscape art is always created to demonstrate the natural beauty of our world, be it in a calming, fierce, or surreal style.
Representational landscape art is the most natural of the genre. You’ll find no special colours or filters used in representational landscape art pieces. Instead, this type of painting focuses primarily on the naturally occurring beauty in nature and creates a realistic picture of the subject, allowing Mother Nature to shine in all of her glory without embellishment.
By contrast, abstract landscape paintings focus less on the surrounding environment of the landscape and instead focus on the main subject of the image. For example, this feature could be a mountainside, a tree branch or a shadow cast by a large natural object.
Finally, impressionist landscape art refers to paintings that depict a realistic landscape with unusual lighting. This is achieved through various techniques, including incorporating bright and unnatural colouring into the natural scene. You will also find pieces that separate the background from the foreground using a soft focus.
You’ll find a wide collection beautiful landscape artwork in our online gallery incorporating each of these styles to suit your preference.