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Landscape as a genre

Het landschapsgenre - Lyklema Fine Art

Mountains, rivers, forests and the sea have been attractive to artists for centuries. In the early 15th century, landscape painting emerged as a separate genre in Europe. Certainly in the beginning as an environment for human activity within a religious subject. The genre had all kinds of specialties, such as the seascape, the cityscape and the winter landscape such as the winter performances by Hendrick Avercamp.

Hendrick Avercamp ( 1585-1634)

In the Netherlands, the genre flourished independently during the Baroque period with painters such as Jacob van Ruijsdael and Paulus Potter. In the 17th century, Italianate landscapes became popular in the Netherlands with fantasy landscapes with a southern atmosphere and hilly theme. Think of Cornelis van Poelenburch, Jan Both, Jan Asselijn and Karel Dujardin. Imitators, for example Albert Cuyp, bathed the Dutch landscape in a warm, golden light.

Albert Cuyp (Dordrecht 1620-1691)

In England, the genre became popular during the Romantic period with leaders such as John Constable and William Turner. Until that point in art history, landscapes were painted inside the studio, with great precision and probably while sitting on a chair behind the easel. Often a sketch was first made outside, after which the works of art were painted in great detail.

William Turner, "The Lorelei Rock" (1817)

In France, however, a first followed with painting 'en plein air', that is to say on site in the open air. Artists from the Barbizon School such as Daubigny, Dupré and Rousseau are taking the lead in this regard. In the Netherlands, followed by the Hague School with, among others, Hendrik Weissenbruch, Paul Joseph Gabriël and Anton Mauve.

Hendrik Weissenbruch (Den Haag 1824-1903)

Not entirely coincidentally, this was also the time of the discovery of photography, which could capture nature more precisely than a painter ever could. The fact that paint in tubes became available from 1841 and the possibility of reaching the countryside by train also gave further impetus to pleinairism.

The first artists then withdraw further from the Academic formal rules and go even further in recording the truth less meticulously. Impressionism originated with Pissarro, Manet, Monet and Sisley. The test therefore becomes faster and less precise. It was about capturing the moment and the right color contrasts and harmony and capturing the sky.

Alfred Sisley, The Small Meadows in Spring 1880

Expressionists go even further and distort the landscape through an unrealistic use of color. German expressionism with painters such as Kandinsky lives on in contemporary lyrical expressionist work, based on the experience of landscape.

Wassily Kadinsky (Moskou 1866-1944)

Also on our website you will find works that fall under the landscape genre, such as the work of Horton, Schulman, van 't Hof and Borgh.


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