Research into the evolution of landscape painting
A good brief history of the landscape genre is here. And also below.

Caspar David Friedrich (5 September 1774 – 7 May 1840) German Romantic landscape painter.


I love the restricted pallete and the way the trees reach up to the vast, hazy sky. A ruined abbey and a graveyard in early morning (?) light. This gives a very haunting effect. Is it a statement on the ruins of Europe at the time? I like the idea of a night or dusk/dawn scene; something I would like to try myself.

John Constable, ‘Branch Hill pond’, oil sketch source:


This is from the V&A site which has a lot of interesting information about Constable’s oil sketches. I think they are more interesting than his big oil paintings, more spontaneous! I love the rays of light breaking through the cloud and the reflection of this on the pond. I note the inclusion of some tiny figures, just to give scale and proportion to it and the use of ariel perspective, the way the countryside fades away into the distance.

Samuel Palmer: ‘The Harvest Moon: Drawing for ‘A Pastoral Scene’ source:

The Harvest Moon: Drawing for 'A Pastoral Scene' c.1831-2 by Samuel Palmer 1805-1881

This is a study for another painting, ‘¡A pastoral scene’. I love the moon in this; a beautiful bold moon way before zoom camera gave that effect. I may be wrong but I think most artists described the moon small as in real life at this time. The moonlight on the workers in the fields is just beautiful. I seem to be drawn to night scenes…

Thomas Cole. American artist source:

Two thirds of this landscape is the sky! But so delicately described. Cole was America’s leading landscape painter during the first half of the nineteenth century.  It must be rather hard to capture a sky as the clouds move and change as does the light but I make note of this, as endless land to me is not so interesting but a dramatic sky can make all the difference. Also a night scene with moonlight, as the Palmer, above, shows.

Egon Shiele.

I love Shiele’s rather naive, jumbled houses and landscapes.  I realise I might be reference Shiele too much…but I do love his work. he houses in my town jumble around in a similar way to these. In ‘Edge of town(Krumlov Town Crescent)’ he uses a pallette of blues and greens with pops of reds and oranges,  I note how the houses curve around; both jumbled and yet somehow ordered.  20170501_105023_Richtone(HDR)

source: book ‘Egon Shiele’ bought at his home town long ago at the Shiele Centrum,  Cesky Krumlov.

Modern artists reflecting environmental concerns

I found the work of Paul Nash interesting. When you look closely at this ‘sea’ you see it is actually German war planes, all broken, shot down machines together forming the sea. Was the message that we had destroyed all these German planes? or that the effect of war was to destroy the landscape….id_129rt2

‘Dead Sea’ 1940-41 oil on canvas. source:

There is an interesting video on this site too.

Nash saw the spiritual side of the English landscape (I love his early tree sketches) but then when the war came he painted to show how the war and man was destroying/changing the landscape.

I think L.S. Lowry also had a message with his smoking chimneys and his industrial scenes and the smallness of the people that he painted. How small man is and yet he has created all this industry and how the sky is filling with the smoke….source:

22/08/2017  I have just looked back at this research, having just finished assignment 4, and released just how much influence it has had on me in this landscape section; from night scenes, smoking chimneys and Shiele’s jumble of little houses…. I can see all of this in the work I have produced.


Author: Wendy Kate

Happily sharing my life in Spain with a tall bearded man from Dorset.

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