During the early years of the nineteenth century, as nations in the Americas gained and asserted their independence, pictorial representations of the landscape forged visions of the whole hemisphere. Landscape imagery of the period shows how we are connected by a shared pan-American history, but also underscores the differences between our respective national identities based on our relationships to the land.Picturing the Americas features over 100 landscape paintings from Tierra del Fuego to the High Arctic. You can explore the site by theme, by timeline, by artist, and by map.
Ivan Aivazovsky (1817–1900) - "In 1840, Aivazovsky traveled to Rome, where he became friendly with Nikolai Gogol. He also received high praise from the Roman critics, newspapers, and even Pope Gregory XVI. The pope purchased Aivazovsky's 'Chaos' and hung it in the Vatican... [more inside]
Savagery - Arcadia - Consummation - Destruction - Desolation. The five stages of The Course of Empire, a fascinating quintet of paintings by 19th century artist and Hudson River School pioneer Thomas Cole. In it, an imaginary settlement by the sea becomes the stage for all the dreams and nightmares of civilized life, a rural woodland grown in time into a glorious metropolis... only to be ransacked by corruption, war, and a terrible storm, at last reduced to a forgotten ruin. At times deceptively simple, each landscape teems with references to cultural and philosophical markers that dominated the era's debate about the future of America. Interactive analysis of the series on a zoomable canvas is available via the excellent Explore Thomas Cole project, which also offers a guided tour and complete gallery of the dozens of other richly detailed and beautifully luminous works by this master of American landscape art.
Giger's Necronomicon (yt) (nsfw) - a 1976 documentary about H.R. Giger with music by Joel Vandroogenbroeck of the Brainticket.
"I am looking for places that are good for hiding, where you feel secure and safe, where you can disappear or return home. Where you can be invisible."
4 Artists Paint 1 Tree, a segment from Disneyland included on the recent DVD release of Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty, features the artistic process of one of my favorite painters and cartoon modernists, Eyvind Earle. If you've seen Sleeping Beauty, Lady and the Tramp, Paul Bunyan or Peter Pan, you're familiar with the fantastical and brilliant landscapes he produces. His paintings show a particular fondness for Big Sur and Central California.
If you like 'fantasy' art (as opposed to comics :) and you're in DC I'd highly recommend checking out the JMW Turner exhibit at the NGA! [more inside]
"First of all, it's a map; second, it's a piece of art." Look closely at the corner of a North American ski resort trail map and you will probably see James Niehues' name tucked away in the trees. Examples of his work include Alta, Snow Basin, Winter Park, Killington and Vail.
The Group of Seven. Arguably Canada's most important artists, the Group of Seven "popularized the concept of an art founded on the Canadian landscape, gave many Canadians a sense of national identity and enabled them to discover the beauty of their own country." Peruse an art gallery and marvel at the beauty they portrayed. (Mangled quote from the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery) Equally important was Emily Carr. While her style was similar to that of the Group of Seven, her interest in First Nations became her trademark. Some of her paintings.