By Nadia Herzog
Landscape paintings are depicting reality in its purest form. Inspired by the beauty of nature and their surroundings, painters usually paint exactly what they see. Landscape painting doesn’t require much of an imagination, because for the artist it only takes to go out of their home or their studio and there it is – inspiration is all around them, whether they live in the city and they want to capture an urban atmosphere in their sketch or they step outside their living space and get out there looking for some untouched nature to transfer it to canvas in all its glory. When you consider it that way, every piece of nature deserves to find itself in a painting made by some of the masterminds in the landscape paintings. They truly know how to create miracle images with what they have in front of them. By adding vivid colors or by simply playing with shapes and curves where you wouldn’t actually expect it, contemporary artists are making landscape paintings far more interesting than they originally used to be.
When it comes to the origins of a landscape painting, that pushes us way back in the fourth century and places us somewhere in China. Yes, in China. Although there was a long-lasting belief that Leonardo da Vinci drafted the first landscape painting ever made in 1473, that is not quite true. First impressions of nature were actually depicted in the Chinese art where landscape clearly stated the connection with an environment. In fact, it became so gloriously popular at the beginning of the 9th century that the whole following period was called The Great Age of Chinese Landscape.
If we look only through the lens of the Western world, we would acknowledge that scenery paintings originally came from the ancient Greeks and Romans, and that would be a well-known fact. But it wasn’t until the Renaissance era that artists started considering landscapes as a subject matter of their art. Only then did nature become a true inspiration for painters. And only then was the first real landscape painting made. It is the Albert Altdorfer’s Landscape with Footbridge, from somewhere in between the 1518 and 1520, which is considered to be the first true landscape in the Western history of art. But, let’s go back to the contemporary art now. During the 20th century, landscape art had been redefining itself by numerous movements. Several changes were made to the genre, and now, in the 21st century, the question is whether it will return to its traditional style, or will it become more abstract than ever before.
One way or another, landscape paintings are evergreen, they simply never get old. Their popularity may increase or decrease from time to time, but it remains high. Landscape paintings are widely popular among art collectors and art lovers alike. It has always been more probable that someone would choose a landscape painting to hang on their home wall than any other art genre. People enjoy looking at calming green fields, or inspiring blue waters, or colorful houses and vivid urban environments. It is something that is familiar to all of us, it is something that isn’t overwhelming, and we don’t need to be rocket scientists to understand the meaning of this art. It is as simple as that.
But, painting a landscape, sometimes, isn’t simple at all. It takes much talent and skill to paint it as you see it. Of course, there are artists who are more proficient than others. So, we have chosen ten most inspiring and beautiful landscape paintings in the contemporary art, and we are presenting them to you through the following list. Enjoy!
And before you get started with checking out the amazing landscape art, make sure to look out for this book, you’ll certainly like it if you are interested in landscape paintings.
Landscape painting is a conversation with nature. If you approach it with passion and care, the results would be highly positive. In a way, landscaping is much like photography. It captures the moment in time exactly as it is. Well, actually as the artists see it. They have to feel it and then transfer that sentiment on canvas. By using different lines and shapes, value and edges, they are creating a whole new world within a world.