A Closer Look at Art | Landscape

Learn more about key concepts in Western European art history and gain further insight into the paintings and artists showcased in the National Gallery, London collection with our A Closer Look at Art campaign.

Each week we will be sharing an extract from an A Closer Look guide that explores a foundational subject or theme in painting, from landscapes to portraiture, along with links to free National Gallery, London resources so that you can discover even more about the artwork and artists you are introduced to.

Week 4: Landscape

How do landscape painters achieve an effective representation of extensive yet continuous space on a canvas with fixed dimensions? In this extract from A Closer Look: Landscape, Erika Langmuir walks us through the optics of landscape painting and the ways in which artists such as John Constable and J.M.W. Turner utilised linear perspective, aerial perspective, and light source manipulation in their work.

Read this extract on issuu here.

Additional Resources & Further Reading from The National Gallery, London

Additional Resources
Constable’s Iconic ‘Hay Wain’ in 10 Minutes or Less (YouTube)
A Curated Look at: A Day in the Countryside (YouTube)
J.M.W. Turner: Painting The Fighting Temeraire (YouTube)
A Critical Reassessment of Six Landscape Paintings by Charles-François Daubigny belonging to the National Gallery” (National Gallery Technical Bulletin/JSTOR)

Further Reading
A Closer Look: Landscape by Erika Langmuir
A Closer Look: Pictorial Space by Nicholas Penny
Hogarth to Turner: British Painting by Louise Govier

Further Reading from Yale University Press

An Introduction to Art by Charles Harrison
Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting by Martin Postle and Robin Simon

Blog Featured Image: Thomas Gainsborough. Mr and Mrs Andrews. About 1750. © The National Gallery, London.

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