5 Most Famous Landscape Paintings
Landscape painting has been a major genre in art since the sixteen hundreds. The landscape tradition in art didn’t take-off overnight, however – it slowly developed as artists began to focus more on the background of their paintings. Dutch artists were the first to paint works in which the setting – the landscape – actually became the subject of the painting. We have compiled a list of some of the most famous landscape artists of all time.
American artist Thomas Cole painted four works inspired by James Feinmore Cooper’s famous novel The Last of the Mohicans, published in the same year. Although the paintings all depict specific scenes of interactions with the Native Americans from the novel, the real focus of the painting is the American wilderness.
Thomas Cole, The Last of the Mohicans (1826)
In his later years, impressionist artist Claude Monet painted a series of paintings of his water lily pond. Monet’s water lily paintings all share a pastel palette, and are done in his signature loose brushstrokes. Over the years, this series of works has become one of the most reproduced images of landscape art in history.
Claude Monet, Water Lillies (1914-1926)
Mount Sainte-Victoire lied to the east of Cézanne’s home in Aix-en-Provence, France. Over the years, he painted the mountain many times, in various painting styles. This painting in particular has become so famous because it has been labeled by some as one of the earliest works of cubism.
Paul Cézanne, Mount Sainte-Victoire (1894-1900)
Turner painted many famous landscape paintings over the course of his career, but none so evocative or politically-charged as his Slave Ship. The painting depicts a slave ship sinking in a storm, and the passengers drowning in the choppy waters. He painted the work with the abolitionist campaign in mind.
JMW Turner, The Slave Ship (1840)
Claude Lorrain was the most sought after landscape painter in seventeenth and eighteenth century France. He is famous for the soft haze he gives to the background of his idyllic landscapes. This painting, like most of his works, references Greek mythology and incorporates classical Greek architecture.
Claude Lorrain, The Return of Odysseus (1644)