Praise for Nature
Caspar David Friedrich
Two Men Contemplating the Moon, ca. 1825-30
Oil on canvas
34.9 x 43.8 cm (13.7 x 17.2 in.)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Exploring the history of nature in art is, in essence, a journey through the history of art itself. Ancient Greeks prized the imitation of nature as the highest goal of art. Subsequent art movements have been characterized by their often subjective interpretations of nature. J.M.W. Turner and Caspar David Friedrich, for example, highlighted the power of nature over mankind in their breathtaking Romantic landscapes, while Impressionists such as Claude Monet sought to capture the overall visual atmosphere of the landscape rather than paint it realistically. Even modern abstraction has been strongly influenced by nature, with Abstract Expressionists such as Helen Frankenthaler and Op artists such as Bridget Riley considering their work to be an expression of the primal forces, energies and rhythms of the natural world.
Other artists who praised nature through their artworks include Ansel Adams, whose breathtaking photographs of the American wilderness captured the beauty and majesty of nature, and Georgia O'Keeffe, who painted delicate and sensual flowers with intricate details. Environmental artists like Christo and Jeanne-Claude created temporary installations in nature, using the landscape as a canvas for their monumental artworks. Contemporary artist Olafur Eliasson builds immersive installations that invite viewers to explore and engage with nature, using light, water, and other natural elements to create stunning visual experiences.
Throughout history, artists have found inspiration in the natural world, conveying its beauty, power, and fragility through their artworks. Whether through realistic depictions, abstract interpretations, or immersive installations, these artists remind us of the importance of nature in our lives and inspire us to appreciate and protect the natural world.
(Inspired by) Nature
Riverscape / Seascape