Fig. 1. Landscape with a woodland pool. I find this landscape drawing by Albrecht Durer quite touching. The artist carefully detailed the foreground reeds, but left a section on the right unfinished. It seems to be an artist capturing a scene made unusual by a certain play of light, to help them remember it. Have I seen a sky like this at sunset where the blue fades out to white and the clouds are in shadow? It looks like the kind of scene about which you might say: “That’s amazing. I wish I had my camera.”
Fig. 2. Pastoral landscape by Claude Lorrain. In this drawing I like the way the artists has captured the clouds and birds in the sky. The day looks breezy. The composition is balanced and the use of brown ink and wash in the foreground with a cooler grey ink and wash in the background adds depth to the picture. The textures and tones are all beautifully rendered.
In this oil painting Lorrain uses the perspective of the classical buildings to lead the eye into the picture. Despite the towering ruins, I’d describe the scene as lively with the activity in the foreground, the feathery foliage, clouds and birds.
Georgia O’Keeffe painted landscapes throughout her life, some quite detailed, some tending towards abstraction. Her shimmering colours brought you into the hot landscapes of New Mexico, the cool turbulence of Lake George, New York or, in fig. 4., the clouds as seen from an aeroplane. I like the playfulness of this picture.
Fig 1. Durer, Albrecht. Landscape with a woodland pool. watercolour and body colour. 1497. http://culturalinstitute.britishmuseum.org
Fig. 2 Lorrain, Claude. Pastoral landscape c.1665 Pen and brown and grey ink, with grey-brown wash. http://www.britishmuseum.org
Fig. 3. LORRAIN, Claude. Capriccio with ruins of the Roman Forum c.1634, oil on canvas https://www.artgallery.sa.gov.au
Fig. 4. Georgia O’Keeffe | Sky Above Clouds II | 1963 | oil on canvas | 48 x 84 inches | Copyright Georgia O’Keeffe Museum