4 Famous Landscape Paintings of All Time

For a long time, landscape paintings weren’t considered like other sought-after painting genres such as portraits, history paintings, still life, etc. It didn’t emerge as a full category of its own in the 17th century when several artists came together to revolutionize this genre.

From nature to urban settings, landscape paintings today depict a range of scenes that are appreciated by the audience. The key to a good landscape painting lies in the minute details that the painter adds to it. It’s these details that add a realistic look to the paintings.

Painting of flowing river amidst greenery.

Here are four of the most famous landscape paintings of all time and why they became so widely appreciated.

Spring or Earthly Paradise by Poussin

Nicholas Poussin is famous for his depiction of nature and the creation of the “ideal” landscape. In this scholarly landscape of the 1600s, he paints two bare humans in a paradise-like, perfect space to show the human connection with nature. The larger meaning of his painting lies in depicting the space that humans occupy in nature’s grand scheme.

Poussin has also worked on other popular landscapes such as Four Seasons that also follows similar themes.

Monk by the Sea by Caspar David Friedrich

This painting is considered a spiritual landscape that shows a monk standing by the seaside. The painting shows white mist in the air and waves crashing by the shore. The monk seems lost in his thoughts as he thinks about the vastness of the sea that lies ahead of him.

Friedrich’s painting invites the viewer to contemplate and understand their existence and part in the world.

Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

Starry Night is one of Van Gogh’s most popular paintings. It’s considered one of the best paintings in the world amongst all genres, but it’s widely misunderstood. The artist is known for depicting his demons through his paintings, and Starry Night is no exception. At first glance, it may seem like a happy painting with bright elements, but it’s far from that.

The contrasting bright colors and the hellish starry spiral against the night sky give the landscape a tormented appeal.

L’Estaque by André Derain

Created in 1906, L’Estaque is a revolutionary, colorful landscape that blatantly rejects naturalism. In this landscape, Derain douses the Southern France scenery in outrageous colors that leave the audience awestruck. The bright colors are a representation of the many elements that are present in this luminous area.

With bright red, orange, and occasional blues, the painting is mesmerizing to look at. 

Painting of river passing through a canal.

All these paintings have been revolutionary in their own way. They have inspired many painters and started many conversations.

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