Landscape Paintings

New, Vintage and Antique Landscape Paintings


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To take a page from the sketchbook of the late, great Bob Ross: there are few things in life a good landscape painting won’t fix. Saddled with plain walls? A plein air painting can instantly perk them up. Kitchen countertops feel characterless? Pop a mini landscape painting on an easel next to the stove and you’re cooking with class.

Ask virtually any flea market-bound designer what they’re on the hunt for and vintage landscape paintings are likely to top their list. Whether it’s a vintage oil painting landscape, an impressionist watercolor landscape, or an old artist’s board painting, landscape paintings are just the thing to add covetable character to a space.

Narrowing down the scope of vintage landscape paintings can be a task and a half, though. Type “mountain landscape paintings,” or “landscapes by famous artists” into your search bar and you’re likely to be bombarded by paintings from every era, in every style and medium. To help you narrow down exactly what kind of landscape painting you’re looking for, we’re outlining some of the most common types, plus giving you search tips on how to zero in on exactly what you’re hunting for.

Landscape Paintings by Famous Artists

Off the auction block, you’ll likely be searching for reproductions of landscape paintings by famous artists rather than first editions, but regardless, it never hurts to have a grasp on who the maestros were and what they’re exalted for. While landscape painting can be traced all the way back to Ancient China, it wasn’t until the 19th century that the medium evolved to what we typically think of as landscape paintings today. Dubbed the “Golden Age,” the era marks the dawn of plein air techniques in Western art. Essentially, plein air refers to any painting that was painted in the great outdoors as opposed to a studio. French Impressionist Claude Monet, of Water Lilies fame, was an ardent fan of the technique, as were the members of The Hudson River School. The latter is commemorated for popularizing landscape painting through the eastern United States in the mid 19th century.

As mentioned above, Claude Monet landscape paintings are arguably among the most famous. His luminous Water Lilies series pays homage to his beloved Giverny garden and top 250 pieces in all. Dating slightly before Monet was English painter John Constable who immortalized the bucolic English countryside in a darkly-lit, moody fashion. In contrast to Monet’s pixelated-like style, John Constable paintings are more indebted to the school of Dutch Realism.

On the American front, Thomas Cole landscapes and Albert Bierstadt landscapes are both widely celebrated and much emulated. Thomas Cole routinely painted the Eastern United States, while Albert Bierstadt is counted among the first painters to have committed the American west to canvas. The most iconic Albert Bierstadt landscape paintings are those featuring the still-untouched Yosemite Valley.

Landscape Paintings Abstract

In the latter half of the 19th century, abstract landscapes came into vogue. The movement was spearheaded by post-impressionists like Paul Cézanne. Cézanne, a French painter, is heralded for bridging Impressionism with Cubism. His paintings spotlighting the rural south of France often feature soft pastels and an underlying geometric framework. Cézanne is often credited as laying the framework for later abstract landscape painters like Henri Matisse (although Matisse isn’t known exclusively for landscapes, he did broach the theme often) and later Bay Area artist Richard Diebenkorn. Most landscape paintings in the abstract style are beloved for their patchwork quality, which could be likened to an aerial view from an airplane. Depending on the palette used, abstract landscapes can feel dreamy and soft, or sharp and aggressive.

Landscape Paintings Mountains

Mountains have long been a favored subject in landscape paintings. In fact, mountains routinely factor into the paintings of one of the earliest known Chinese landscape painters, Wang Hui. Today, it’s common to find landscape paintings of mountains in every style, ranging from Asian-inspired to realist to abstract. While paintings featuring snow-capped mountains tend to take on a more lodge-like tone, those showcasing bare or desert mountains can easily be integrated into a variety of interiors. To narrow down search results, try refining your keywords to hot button phrases like “california landscape painting with mountains,” “european mountain painting” or “impressionist mountain painting.” Narrowing in on certain mountain ranges such as the Rockies, Alps, or Sierra Nevadas can also be of merit.

Landscape Paintings Seascapes

Seascape, ocean painting, beach painting—whatever you call them, paintings featuring the ocean are a decorator stand-by. Ocean landscapes are ideal for energizing virtually any spot, whether that be a breakfast nook, powder room, or hallway. For the most traditionalist-looking paintings, pepper in search terms like “gilt frame” or “ship” or “steamer.” Often those terms will yield the sort of grand, 19th and early 20th century paintings that personify what most of us think of when we think of classic seascape paintings. For more rustic takes that bring to mind seaside shacks or wood-paneled Big Sur hideouts, consider adding on terms like “rustic wood frame.” Targeting decades like “1970s” or “1960s” can also produce productive results.