How Does Landscape Art Contain Emotion?
If you’ve ever looked at landscape art you might have wondered what the artist was trying to capture. As with most art, understanding an artist’s intention can require some time. Look long enough at a landscape painting, and you might be able to feel the emotions that the painter was trying to capture! Landscapes make popular art prints for their ability to evoke emotions. In today’s blog post, we’re exploring which techniques artists use to create evocative landscapes.
The history of landscapesThe most famous landscape artists are usually associated with the Romanticism movement in art. There’s a whole range of styles within romantic landscape paintings, from peaceful, pastoral visions of nature, to awe-inspiring visions of mountains and storms. A lot of romantic landscapes were used to comment on religious or philosophical ideas, but it was in this movement that the association between landscapes and emotion was forged. This association more or less still exists today; we still expect contemporary landscape art to evoke emotions when we look at it. In many ways, the Romanticists set the blueprint for the common techniques used in landscapes, especially in regard to capturing certain emotions. Below, we’re going to look at three.
The colours chosen by an artist can have a huge impact on the effect it will produce for the audience. One of the most famous landscape painters, Joseph Mallord William Turner (usually just called Willian Turner), was a master at using colour in landscapes. In fact, Turner was a key reason that landscape paintings became popular in the first place. Turner painted both sunsets and sunrises over Venice multiple times in his life, and in all these paintings the colours aren’t necessarily realistic. Often, he painted scenes like this with a reduced palette. All the bright colours are used to depict the rising or setting sun, and the rest of the image is grey or yellow, almost unfinished looking. This forces the eye to focus on the sun, just like how a real sunset or sunrise captures your attention; everything else around you seems to fade away. A lot of early landscapes also used warm colours to create feelings of nostalgia or comfort, especially when depicting the countryside and trying to foster a sense of kinship with the land.