A Quick History of Landscape Painting in Western Art—

The First 3500 Years

More often than not, the paintings that really grab my attention are landscapes, and I like to think I’m a somewhat knowledgeable about them in terms of art history. So, I was surprised to learn recently that the word “landscape” — an anglicization of the Dutch landschap — was only introduced into the language — purely as a term for works of art — around the start of the 17th century. That is not to say that landscapes didn’t exist in art before then … apparently there just wasn’t a word for them.

The “Spring fresco” of Akrotiri, Santorini
Virgin and Child, Petrus Christus, mid-15th century
Paolo Uccello, Battle of San Romano, 1440. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Camille Corot, Hagar in the Wilderness, 1835
Aert van der Neer, Moonlit Landscape with Bridge, c. 1650. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Caspar David Friedrich, Morning in the Riesengebirge, c. 1810. Schloß Charlottenburg, Berlin

--

--

I am an art geek, writing about art, exhibitions and museums. Discover more than 1600 art museums, artist studios, historic houses and gardens across the US.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
ArtGeek.art

I am an art geek, writing about art, exhibitions and museums. Discover more than 1600 art museums, artist studios, historic houses and gardens across the US.