Inside the Lives and Works of History’s Most Iconic Landscape artists

Whether it’s skies or shorelines, meadows or mountains, landscape art has been one of the world’s most-loved genres since Dutch realist artists got to grips with it in the 17th century.

In this blog post, we will take a look at some of history’s most famous landscape artists and how their craft became so popular.

Claude Monet

One of the world’s most famous painters, Monet is the name most associated with French Impressionist art.

Born in Paris in 1840, his signature technique was to paint a similar scene over and over again to account for the changing seasons and the impact of light.

His works portraying the River Thames (1899 onwards), Rouen Cathedral (1892 onwards) and Poplars (1891 onwards) all reflect his deep consideration of the effect of optics, and it has often been noted that the vibrancy of colour used had an influence on the development of abstract art.

John Constable

Across the Channel in Britain, Constable’s work painting landscapes has long been honoured with exhibitions in prestigious galleries like The National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Focusing on the charm of the English rural idylls near his birthplace in Suffolk, Constable once said: “I should paint my own places best… painting is but another word for feeling.” His famous works include Boatbuilding Near Flatford Mill (1815) and The Hay Wain (1821).

J.M.W. Turner

Known as the painter who sent landscape art to the same heights of prestige as history painting, Turner is one of the genre’s most revered names. His unrivalled ability to capture the influence of optics on a scene gave him the moniker “the painter of light”, while he also acted as a natural source of inspiration for Claude Monet.

Known for works like Burning of the House of Lords and Commons (1835) and the striking watercolour Dawn after the Wreck (1841), when he died aged 76 in Chelsea in 1851, he left 300 of his paintings and thousands of his watercolours and drawings to The National Gallery.

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