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The History of Landscape Painting

Updated on October 19, 2014

Learn about the development of landscape painting

Find out how landscape painting has developed across the centuries and different continents.

This resource for art lovers identifies

  • major movements in the history of landscape art
  • famous landscape artists from the past
  • famous art schools associated with landscape painting
  • major subjects for andscape painting
  • popular locations for landscape art

This site is part of the The Art of the Landscape project and as such is a work in progress with new sites being added all the time

The Art of the Landscape Project

You can find out about my Art of the Landscape Project on The Art of the Landscape Blog

The Best Books about Landscape Art

Do you want to learn about landscape art and how to paint landscapes? Do you want to find out which which are the best books about painting landscapes?


'Landscape and Western Art'

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED I own this book and it provides an excellent overview of the history of western landscape art

Average Amazon review: 5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 3 customer reviews)

Implying that land is the raw material, and that art is created by turning land into landscape, which then becomes art, author Malcolm Andrews takes the reader on a thematic tour of the fascinating and challenging issues of landscape as art. The books broad sweep covers the full, rich spectrum of landscape art, including painting, gardening, panorama, poetry, photography, and art. Artistic issues are investigated in connection with Western cultural movements, and within a full international and historical context.

'Landscape into Art' by Kenneth Clarke

Kenneth Clark's 1949 volume has been considered to be the the bible of the history of landscape painting in western art.

"It was one of the first and most successful attempts to put some chronology on the evolution of the genre. It is still unsurpassed for its discussion of landscape through the late 19th century and therefore deserves a place in the library of anyone interested in this subject."

The book does NOT include any colour reproductions

An introduction to landscapes in art for children - Created by the Museum network

This eLearning resource has been created by the Museum Network with funding from the DCMS/DfES Strategic Commissioning Programme.

This website is targeted at children and young people. It's very suitable as a starting point for adults too.

The Pastoral Landscape by John Dixon Hunt (Editor)

Experts consider how arts and artists have worked within the pastoral tradition since ancient times.

Landscape paintings in Museums and Art Galleries

Visit popular art galleries and museums around the world

Top 10 Art Galleries and Museums in the World

Find out which are the top ten art galleries and museums in the world - based on visitor numbers in 2013 - and how to visit them in person or virtual reality.

Musee d'Orsay - Resources for Art Lovers

Pay a virtual visit to the Musée d'Orsay in Paris to see:

  • Famous french art produced between the years 1848 and 1914.
  • Famous paintings by the major Impressionist painters

The Louvre - Resources for Art Lovers

The Louvre is a very large and famous museum in Paris. 9.72 million people visited the Louvre in 2012 - 3.5 million more than any other museum in the world..


'The Search for the Picturesque: Landscape Aesthetics and Tourism in Britain, 1760-1800' by Malcolm Andrews


I. The Rise of the Picturesque

  • Poetry and the Discovery of the British landscape
  • Landscape Painting and the Picturesque Formula
  • The Evolution on the Picturesque Taste, 1750-1800
  • Travelling Knick-knacks

II. The Picturesque Tours

  • The Wye Valley Tour
  • The North Wales Tour
  • The Tour of The Lakes
  • The Highlands Tour


British Landscape Artists - resources for art lovers

About J.M.W. Turner - Famous British Painter

Find out about the English artist Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) - aka JMW Turner, one of Britain's greatest painters.It shares information about...

About Peter Doig - British Painter

Peter Doig (1959 - present) is one of Britain's most prominent and exciting young painters. He broke auction records for a living European artist in 2007 when...

About David Hockney - British Artist

David Hockney (1937-present) has been voted the UK's most popular living artist. Find out about: - the life and art of David Hockney - museums, galleries,...


"Work in haste, so as to seize nature as She is"

— Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (1750-1819)

European Landscape Artists - Resources for Art Lovers

About Vincent Van Gogh - Famous Painter

Find out about Vincent Van Gogh, his drawings and paintings and where you can see and read about them online and in art museums and books. This site shares...

About Claude Monet - Impressionist Painter

Claude Monet is a very famous painter. He's also a key figure in the development of Impressionism in France and elsewhere. Learn about Monet

About Paul Cezanne - Famous French Painter

Find out about the famous Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cezanne. This overview of Cezanne's life and art provides a compendium of links to more information..

About Canaletto - Italian Painter

Canaletto is famous for his landscape paintings - particularly those of Venice - and he is a key figure in the development of landscape painting


Landscapes, or views of nature, play a significant role in American art. The earliest American landscape paintings were topographic illustrations of farms, cities, and landmarks

American Landscape Artists - Resources for Art Lovers

About Andrew Wyeth - American Artist

Find out about Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009) - one of the USA's most popular and celebrated artists. Wyeth was an American Contemporary Realist Painter who worked...

About Georgia O'Keeffe - American Painter

Find out about Georgia O'Keeffe - American painter and pioneer of American Modern Art: - her life and influences; - her flower paintings - her southwestern landscapes -...

About John Singer Sargent - Famous Painter

Find out about John Singer Sargent - noted American painter, draftsman, portraitist, muralist and watercolorist. This site provides a comprehensive overview...

About James McNeill Whistler - American Artist

Find out about James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903 the American painter and print-maker who lived in England and was a leading figure of the Aesthetic Movement.

About Winslow Homer - American Artist

Find out about the famous American painter Winslow Homer. This site shares information about the paintings and artwork of Winslow Homer, including: * museums...

The Jack Pine by Tom Thomson

Jackpine by Tom Thomson
Jackpine by Tom Thomson

The Jack Pine (1916-17). Oil on canvas; 127.9 139.8 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Source: Image from Wikipedia

Click the link to read the Wikipedia article about the Jack Pine by Tom Thomson

Famous Landscape Artists in Canada - Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven

Tom Thomson is the most famous Canadian landscape painter. His work influenced those who created the Group of Seven - although he was not part of it and died before it started.

The Group of Seven were:

  • Franklin Carmichael (1890-1945),
  • Lawren Harris (1885-1970),
  • A. Y. Jackson (1882-1972),
  • Franz Johnston (1888-1949),
  • Arthur Lismer (1885-1969),
  • J. E. H. MacDonald (1873-1932), and
  • Frederick Varley (1881-1969).

"Above all elements Canadian, these are painters who knew how to handle paint and colour, and how to turn a small sketch executed on the spot into a high-pitched studio masterpiece."

Brian Sewell, The Evening Standard

The Group of Seven artists

Six of the Group of Seven, plus their friend Barker Fairley, in 1920.

From left to right: Frederick Varley, A. Y. Jackson, Lawren Harris, Fairley, Frank Johnston, Arthur Lismer, and J. E. H. MacDonald. It was taken at The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto.

Source: Image from Wikipedia


Japanese Landscape Artists - Resources for Art Lovers

About Hiroshige - Famous Japanese Printmaker

The compendium site is about the famous Japanese ukiyo-e artist Hiroshige (1797-1858) who was most famous for his landscape prints. It provides links to information...

About Hokusai - Japanese ukiyo-e artist

Find out about Hokusai (1760-1849), the famous Japanese ukiyo-e artist and his drawings, artwork and woodblock prints and where you can see and read about them...


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