Landscape Art

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Largely ignored in olden times, landscape art has emerged as a very popular form of artistry. It converts sceneries, panoramas, wildlife, weather, sky, valleys, mountain, rivers, forests, landmasses, and waterways- indeed everything in our environment, onto the canvas.

Landscape art was originated namely by the Greek and Roman societies. Their initial works revolved around scenery and gardens and were usually painted on the walls. In the 15th century, this form of art was declared a genre in Europe. However, the collapse of the Roman Empire led to the waning of this traditional art as well.

The 16th century became the rising era of landscape art, when the Dutch term ‘landschap’ was associated with its artistic denotation of an art which portrays inland scenery. The region which popularized this form of art after its rebirth was Netherlands.

However, till the 17th century, traditional landscape painting did not create a great impact. But after that everything changed. As soon as Rembrandt, Rubens, Jacob Van Ruisdael and Nicolas Poussin emerged as major contributors to the field of landscape art, it became one of the most important and famous means of art. These were the artists who believed that just like any other art, landscape art was equally capable of conveying strong and heartfelt feelings, moods, thoughts, ideas and emotions.

By the 18th century, landscape art had become a strong attraction for artists all over the world. Near the end of the 1700s, Pierre Henri de Valenciennes gave the world a different perspective about landscape art. His book Elements de Perspective Practique considered creating historical landscape scenes by observing and looking into real nature.

When in the 19th century, industrial revolution took place; artists realized that their scenic art now depicted rural settings and not the contemporary world. Therefore, need for a change was felt. Since then, artists started copying this new landscape onto paper and recording history for the later generations. However, there was a change in thinking taking place at the time as the Barbizon School located in France emphasized that landscape art’s essence was nature and not the scenes. A very significant development of this era was the plein-air painting. Gustav Courbet, Claude Monet and Camille Pissaro originated this pragmatism movement of painting in the open air.

As the world entered in the 20th century, the growth patterns of the previous centuries paved the path for more developments. By the mid-21st century, photography and urban landscape depictions have become an important advancement to the landscape artistry. Before this innovation, tourists were highly interested in the paintings of scenery and landscape as souvenirs and gifts, but later on, with photography, tourists could simply take photographs or buy them.

So, the landscape art evolved very gradually but had great impacts on the world as a whole. It introduced the citizens of Earth with a new form of capturing history, environment, scenic beauty, moods and emotions, weather and ecosystems. Today, it would be hard to imagine a world without this form of art present.

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