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Landscape Painting

David Hockney
From left to right: Untitled No.4, Yosemite Suite, 2010, Untitled No.22, 2010 from The Yosemite Suite, 2010, and The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven) – 2 January, 2011
All works drawn with iPad
© David Hockney / Courtesy of the artist

When you think of landscape painting, do you have a favorite artist that comes to mind? Is it John Constable who painted English landscapes in a Romantic tradition, Claude Monet with Impressionist depiction of Giverny in France, or Georgia O’Keeffe and her paintings of New Mexico? Regardless of the answer, what all share is the love for nature that surrounds us. Landscape painting, also known as landscape art, is one of the most popular genres, both in the past and present. Focusing on the appreciation of nature for its own sake, landscape painting depicts the natural scenery such as mountains, forests, trees, valleys, gardens, rivers, coastlines, skyscapes, and more.

Before landscape painting became its own genre in the West, capturing the beauty of nature was not a priority. Until the 17th century, landscape paintings only appeared as a backdrop for main subject matters such as portrait figures in religion, mythology or in history paintings. With the richness of color in oil paint, artists began to express nature in their paintings. All the while in China, landscape painting was already established from the 4th century. Referring to landscape painting, the Chinese used the term ‘Shan-Shui’, meaning ‘mountain and river'. The scenes of nature were depicted with ink and brush, and it was not only to create beautiful paintings but also to reflect their emotions and feelings.

Claude Monet
Landscape: The Parc Monceau, 1876
Oil on canvas
59.7 x 82.6 cm (23.5 x 32.5 in.)
Bequest of Loula D. Lasker, New York City, 1961
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Michael Sadowsky
Cloud God
Acrylic on canvas
40.6 x 50.8 cm (16 x 20 in.)
Courtesy of the artist

By the 19th century, landscape painting flourished by artists such as British Romantic painter J.M.W. Turner, and French artists Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Paul Cézanne who were all in the Impressionist group exhibition in Paris in 1874. It was a pivotal moment in art history as the establishment of landscape painting shifted the hierarchy of the genres in art. Landscape painting then continued to develop further in the form of abstraction, and the emergence of land art in the 1960s gave landscape painting a new dimension to the concept.

Landscape painting is still a popular genre by both artists and collectors. The longevity of the movement is perhaps owed to lack of chances to be with nature due to the industrialization and urbanization of our surroundings. In contemporary art, landscape paintings exist in a variety of forms and are produced with a wide range of mediums. Some use traditional methods of oil on canvas while artists such as David Hockney use an iPad to create his work digitally.

Related categories






Oil Painting

Scenes of Everyday Life

En Plein Air

Pastoral/Rural Life

Figures in Nature


Abstract Painting

Oil on Canvas


Mixed Media Painting

Lyrical Expression



Digital Art

Mixed Media on Canvas


Ink Painting

Chinese Ink Painting

Surrounding Environment

British Art

21st Century Art

French Art

Smooth and Flat Surface

Gentle and Smooth Brushstrokes

19th Century Art

17th Century Art

Riverscape / Seascape

Natural Environment

Gouache Paint

Rough and Brave Brushstrokes

Different Perspectives

Praise for Nature

Art Fair

Contemporary Landscape Painting

Abstract Landscape Painting




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