Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Influential Landscape Painters

When the Artists Magazine asked "Who's a painter that changed the course of landscape painting?" the first name that popped into my mind first was Ivan Shishkin (1832-1898).

I said that I don’t know whether he changed the course of landscape painting outside of Russia, but he sure inspired me. He tackled one of the most difficult landscape subjects—the forest interior. 

The technical challenges include wildly fluctuating light levels and infinitely deep spatial layers of complex detail. Shishkin was an enthusiastic advocate of photography as a reference tool, but his paintings were anything but photographic or technical. He knew his botany and loved the wild lands. He managed to capture the deep mystery of the forest like no one else.

This Q and A is coming up in the November / December issue of The Artists Magazine.

Of course there are so many other great landscape painters who have affected the course of art history. Who would you choose and why?


Charley parker said...

Corot. Along with the other Barbizon painters, he brought painting outside as a regular practice, focused on nature as it is and inspired the Impressionist painters who followed. I think you could skip over Impressionism and draw a direct line from Corot's early landscapes — which look quite contemporary to my eye — to the general styles of painterly realism so dominant in plein air painting today.

Unknown said...

Corot!!!Because of his apparent"simplification"...I guess? Anyway he's my favorite..there was a tiny painting by him at my local museum that I fell in love with growing up.Years later at the Louvre I saw a room plastered with his paintings from floor to ceiling!For American art,maybe Charles Burchfield...Wyeth's style is straight up copied more than anyone but I don't know if you would call that "influence' Sorry to hog the space as I really didn't address the question lolI guess I would really have to think about it. And I haven't yet!

Unknown said...

Charley Parker said it better than me :)

James Gurney said...

Yeah, Corot is a good choice, probably a better answer for the question of 'most influential.'You could make a strong case for Claude Lorraine, J.M.W. Turner, Frederic Church, or Claude Monet.

Unknown said...

Hi James,this is Lynnwwod Hage .Don't know why my comment showed up as "unknown"? I haven't done this for a long time!! Charley Parker said it so much better than I ! :)!

Rubysboy said...

So many terms need defining:
landscape painting - does it include abstracted landscapes? If so, then I'd nominate Kandinsky.
If not, if we ask who most influenced representational landscape painting, then I'd nominate Cezanne for his innovative use of color and semi-abstract shapes.
art history - if it means official academic history, the stories told in textbooks, then I'd nominate Van Gogh for so greatly expanding our notion of representation and his emphasis on color and feeling.
If it means the living history that most landscape painters draw upon daily, then I'd nominate Turner, for his emphasis on atmosphere over shape.
If we are talking about landscape painters in the US today who exhibit in OPA, then Richard Schmid.
Decker Walker

Manuel Barranco said...

Carlos de Haes!

Michael Pianta said...

There's a landscape painter I never knew about until very recently - Lars Hertervig. He is not the most influential, because as far as I know he is somewhat obscure, at least in the US. But he deserves to be more influential! His work is quite mysterious and evocative, and seems to me to owe more to Italian renaissance painting than any of the typical nineteenth century styles. It's incredible, looking at his work, that this artist did not die until 1902.

CatBlogger said...

Edgar Payne and other California Impressionists.

Luca said...

I am always amazed by Shishkin technique, his paintings are stunning. But i have some doubt about his influence on the art history as a whole... My thought is that there are many painters that changed the course of landscape art in different ways and each person could name a different painter according to his own interests. Someone could say that the discover of atmospheric perspective by Leonardo changed everything, but someone else could quote Monet's studies of Rouen and revolutionary approach to art. And for someone else maybe Van Gogh was the game changer, being so free from the need to represent objective reality. But would impressionism could have been possible without Turner? And so on, the list could be endless.
Anyway, my vote would go to Caspar Friedrich, i love how he painted emotions more than simply landscapes.
PS: no mention for the Hudson River School?