Landscape art is one of the most popular types of art in Australia. Any painting or drawing with the main subject to capture a beautiful natural scenery is categorized as a landscape art. These paintings can include hills, mountains, rivers, trees, valleys, forests, coastal views, seascapes, meadows and more. The captured view can either be of a real place or an artist’s imaginary scene.
The origins of the landscape art date back to the fourth century CE in the Chinese art. In the Western art, the landscape art was not very popular until the end of the Renaissance art era, which took place in the 16th century. During all these years, many painters have included scenic views in the artwork, some unknowing that they are creating landscape art. However, in the academic hierarchy of the art genres, the Australian landscape art ranked very low. Moreover, most people involved in the art world didn’t take the landscape art seriously and appreciated historical works and portraits much more.
In the beginning, the Australian landscape art was included in pictures only as an improvement for human activity. Even when paintings have had a historical or religious theme, the background featured landscape art elements. With the beginning of the 16th century, the landscape painting was becoming more popular and a big number of Northern artists began painting landscapes. Some painters not of landscape art have used landscape art elements in their pictures, in order to create a perfect background scenery for their mythological messages.
Following the big number of quality and inspiring landscape paintings created in the 16th century, the landscape art in 17th century bloomed. Some of the most influential contributors of landscape art during this century were Jan Vermeer (The Little Secret), Nicolas Poussin and Claude-Lorrain (Landscape with the Marriage of Isaac and Rebekah), who used natural scenery as backgrounds to most of his paintings with religious themes.
In the 18th century, the landscape art has continued to develop according to the demands of the general social and political climate, imposed by the ancient regimes in France, England and the rest of Europe. The Australian landscape art has featured new attitudes to the natural environments. The beginning of the 19th century has marked the beginning of the domination of landscape painting, becoming one of the most popular types of art. During this century, many of the world’s most popular landscape paintings were created.
The landscape art of the 20th century has been completely redefined as a genre, as a consequence of a number of 20th century art movements and major changes. It has remained one of the most popular types of art and has continued to attract interest from artists and art-lovers. Since it has developed few different directions, its status achieved during the 19th century has not been maintained. In the current century, it is still unknown how will the Australian landscape art develop.