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Modern Landscape Painting

Introduction- The history of art like the history of mankind has undergone vast changes. The Stone Age people for example, painted only animals on the walls of the mountain caves. Trees or other landscape paintings never featured in the cave paintings. From simple drawings portraying animals and humans in the Stone Age up to the present modern landscape paintings there has been a great cultural evolution.

In the words of Professor Wamberg- "The modern landscape painting presents a much sharper reflection on the ego. The beholder looks towards infinity, and at the same time, the pictures reflect a social approach to the understanding of nature, with traces of the influence of daily working life, for instance. However, nature has lost its divine power…"

Charcteristics- With the advent of the Nineteenth century, approach towards landscape painting underwent changes.

  • The modern landscape artists began to take interest in specific sites.
  • The invention of paint in tubes meant that the modern impressionist artist could paint outdoors.

Modern landscape painting in China- The Chinese landscape had been a persistent source of inspiration to poets through ages. They occupied an important place in Chinese culture. Painters worked on silk and paper medium portraying mountains, forest, water. Sometimes colored ink, sometimes oils were used to depict the paintings. Infact, the very first landscape painting was created in China according to many art historians. The Chinese Landscape Painting underwent vast changes influenced by the principles of Buddhism. China even made its foray in color printing in the 1600.

Despite such a rich heritage, landscape painting in China in the modern days is taking a backseat as China is marching towards industrialization. The beautiful countryside is often being sacrificed as result of this leaving little opportunity to the modern landscape painters to paint beautiful landscapes. Modern landscape painting in America- In America, however the art of landscape painting was rejuvenated considerably after the Industrial Revolution. The 19th century saw the birth of landscape photography, which had a great impact on landscape painter's composition. Working out-of-doors became a norm as painters became less concerned with idealized, classical landscapes and instead paid attention to plein-air painting.

Modern landscape painting in France- In the modern times, French Landscape painting encountered a drastic transformation, as it became a major medium for artistic experimentation. Elevation of modern subjects, rejection of illusionism, first appeared during this period.

Famous modern landscape painters- Some of the luminaries in the world of modern landscape painting are as follows:-

  • Gustave Courbet
  • Rebecca Grantham
  • Pier Carlo Santini
  • Wayne Roberts
  • Everett Ruess

There is no doubt that landscape painting continues to be an important subject in the world of art. Artists continue to be inspired by nature but there has been a vast impact on the methodology of painting with the invention of modern technology. Armed with new technological innovations, artists also dare to interpret landscapes with their own artistic vocabularies.

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