Paul Bennett is a British artist who paints expressive abstract seascapes and landscapes from memory.
In contrast, Lisa Carney creates more textured canvases in which the landscape emerges from drips, splatters and evocative mark-making.
Painting in watercolours, Max Naylor creates dreamlike landscape paintings in mixed media. They are colourful and filled with semi-surreal imagery, inspired by his memory and imagination.
The seventeenth century saw the development of two forms of landscape art: Classical and Naturalistic. The Classical style was developed by Claude Lorraine and Nicholas Poussin who treated the landscape in a highly stylised and artificial way, attempting to evoke the landscape of classical Greece and Rome. Meanwhile, the Naturalistic style was developed by Dutch landscape painters such as Jacob van Ruysdael and was based upon what they saw around them.
Landscape painting became increasingly popular throughout the eighteenth century when the classical genre dominated. The nineteenth century gave way to an explosion in popularity of the naturalistic style, partly since people saw nature as a direct manifestation of God and partly due to the alienation of many people, as a result of growing industrialisation and urbanisation.
John Constable and J.M.W. Turner were two outstanding British contributors to the genre, but the baton was shortly passed on to France, where thanks to contemporary impressionists, landscape painting became a vehicle for revolution in Western painting and the traditional hierarchy of genres was dismantled.
During the latter half of the twentieth century, the definition of landscape was challenged, and the genre grew to encompass urban as well as industrial landscapes. In the 1960s, land artists such as Richard Long began to change the relationship between landscape and art by creating artworks directly within the landscape itself.
The majority of early landscapes were based upon imaginary settings and very few paintings depicted actual landscapes. It was not until the early 1870s with the introduction of ready-mixed oil paints in tubes, followed by the portable ‘box easel’, that en plein air painting became widely practiced and actual landscapes were used. Various techniques were used to convey organic natural forms in invented compositions, for instance Edgar Degas would copy cloud forms from a crumpled handkerchief held up against the light, while Cennino Cennini advised copying ragged crags from rough rocks.
In addition to the traditional landscape, there are various other forms of ‘-scape’ which depict different scenes, for instance: cityscapes, hardscapes – paved over areas such as streets and sidewalks, aerial landscapes which depict landscapes from above and inscapes – artworks which seek to convey the psychoanalytical view of the mind as a three-dimensional space.
John Constable is among the most well-renowned British Landscape artists. He mostly depicted the Suffolk countryside, where he was born and lived. He completed many sketches en plein air, which he used to complete his large exhibition paintings that were finished in his studio. As a student at the Royal Academy schools, he exhibited from 1802 at the Royal Academy in London and later at the Paris salon. Constable influenced the Barbizon School as well as the French Romantic movement, and himself was influenced by Jacob van Ruisdael – yet his realism and vitality make his work original.
Van Ruisdael was one of the most prolific painters in the Dutch landscape painting movement who created poetic and often brooding landscapes. Born in Haarlem to a little-known painter named Isaac Jacobsz, he became a member of the Haarlem painters’ guild in 1648. From the late 1650s he painted waterfall scenes based upon the work of Allart van Everdingen, before settling in Amsterdam by 1657 where he is said to have also practised as a physician.
J.M.W. Turner, whose full name was Joseph Mallord William Turner, was perhaps the best-loved English Romantic artist. He worked in watercolour, oil and engravings and was known as the ‘painter of light’, due to his interest in brilliant colours as the main element of his landscapes and seascapes. He was born near Covent Garden and entered the Royal Academy schools in 1789. Turned bequeathed a great deal of his work to the nation, much of which is now displayed at Tate Britain.