When the Roman Empire declined, around 133 BC, the art of landscape painting also declined. Although artists have been painting landscapes since antiquity, they were used only as background for religious, mythological or historical figure paintings.
The word landscape comes from the Dutch word landschap, meaning region or tract of land. The Netherlands was one of the first places where landscapes became a popular subject for paintings and the term landscape came to mean a picture depicting scenery on land.
In the 17th century, landscape painters drew inspiration from nature, but idealized the scenes they painted, rather than painting exactly what they observed.
In 1800, French artist Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, who had begun to paint plein-air, meaning outside, directly from nature, wrote a book called Eléments de perspective practice, urging artists to capture the distinctive details of a natural setting.
As the Industrial Revolution took hold in the mid-1800s, and people began to move to cities, rural landscapes began to have a nostalgic feel for many. The advent of landscape photography also influenced painters’ choice of composition.
By the 20th century, landscape painting became part of artistic movements and landscape paintings broadened to include urban, architectural and industrial settings.
Every landscape artist has their own reasons for painting what they see and every viewer has their own emotional reaction to a specific work.
Surovek Gallery has work by some of the finest American landscape artists, each with a unique view of the world they, and we, inhabit.
Anthony Thieme – Vermont Autumn Glory
Anthony Thieme was born in Rotterdam in 1888. He studied painting and, at age 22, traveled to the United States, where he found work as a set designer.
After traveling through Europe, Thieme returned to America and set up a studio in Rockport, Massachusetts.
Thieme traveled, and painted, in New England and spent part of the year in St. Augustine. Surovek Gallery represents the estate of Anthony Thieme, one of America’s most masterful landscape artists.
Wolf Kahn – Off Pleasant Valley Road
Wolf Kahn was born in Germany and emigrated to the United States in 1934. He became a citizen and served in the U.S. Navy in 1945.
Kahn spends summers in Vermont and lives and works in New York the rest of the year. Wolf Khan’s works can be found in the permanent collections of the Met, the Smithsonian, the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Boca Raton Museum of Art and other fine galleries and museums.
Neil Welliver – Untitled Landscape
Neil Welliver said that he felt very much at home in the woods in Maine, where he searched for places that spoke to him, and painted them.
Welliver limited his color palette, giving an earthy depth to his work. Welliver’s works can be found in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Richard Diebenkorn – Blue with Red
Richard Diebenkorn created some of the most unique landscapes ever done by an American artist, which led to his receiving the National Medal of Arts.
Diebenkorn painted aerial views of his Ocean Park, California neighborhood. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Carnegie Institute, the Whitney and other fine venues worldwide and have set records at auction.
American Landscapes at Surovek Gallery
Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Anthony Thieme, Wolf Kahn, Neil Welliver, Richard Diebenkorn or any of the other fine artists whose work is available at Surovek Gallery.