Research point -Research some historic and contemporary artists who work in series with the landscape

Research some historic and contemporary artists who work in series with the landscape. You may already be familiar with works by Monet, Cézanne and David Hockney. Look also at work by Peter Doig, John Virtue and other younger artists working today. For example, see Nicholas Herbert’s series of drawings of the Chiltern Hills at:

Monet (1840–1926) produced a number of series of paintings, focusing on his interest in variations in light and feel of a single view.   His approach to these studies were the result of careful thought and analysis.  His Water Lilies Series depict a scene from a French pond in his garden in Giverney, with light reflecting on the water.  Monet actually planted the lilies himself, and later erected a bridge to complete the scene.  I visited Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris a few months ago, where some of his water lilies oil paintings are exhibited  (spanning a total of 5.5ft x  298.5ft.) Four huge canvases in one room show the scene at dusk and 4 canvases in another depict sunrise.  This series consists of about 250 paintings exhibited in major museums worldwide.


Claude MonetThe Water Lilies – Setting Sun, 1920–1926, Musée de l’Orangerie


Claude MonetThe Water Lilies – The Clouds, 1920–1926, Musée de l’Orangerie


Another series of works by Monet includes the Haystacks/ Wheatstacks.  I visited the Art Institute in Chicago a while ago where I was struck by the beauty of the six  pictures exhibited there.  The series consists of 25 canvases painted in a period from the end summer to the following spring, showing variations in light at differing times of day, season and weather.


Monet, Wheatstacks (Sunset, Snow Effect), 1890-91. Oil on canvas. Art Institute of Chicago.


Monet, Wheatstacks (end of summer) 1890-91.Oil on canvas. Art Institute of Chicago.

Paul Cezanne painted over 60 views of Mont Sainte- Victoire (Near Aix-en-Provence) in 1880s-1906.  He was to greatly influence the development of modern art, and as he moved into post- impressionism.  He wrote:

“Treat nature by means of the cylinder, the sphere, the cone, everything brought into proper perspective”.

He sought tor reveal the inner geometry of nature.  He was capable of moving beyond the complexity of a view into geometrical simplicity.

1280px-Paul_Cézanne_107 victoire

Cezanne- Mont Sainte-Victoire with Large Pine (c. 1887), Courtauld Institute of Art
In a similar vein the Japanese artist Hokusai (1760-1849) is know for his thirty-six views of Mount Fuji.  He created this woodblock series of landscapes as part of his personal obsession with Mount Fuji.  see Thirty-six_Views_of_Mount_Fuji (Apologies for Wikipedia link).
David Hockney did a series of paintings of Yorkshire.  The Yorkshire Wolds provided the inspiration for a series of artworks spanning 50 years of Hockney’s fascination with the area.
David Hockney- Woldgate Woods, 6 & 9 November 2006 Oil on 6 canvases  78in x 152in
Peter Doig is best known for a series of paintings of le Corbusier’s modern and communal living apartments.  These modern urban structures are partially revealed and partially hidden by surrounding forest.


Peter Doig Concrete Cabin 1994 Oil on Canvas198 x 275cm

John Virtue was inspired by walks along the Exeter Canal near the River Exe.  His work oscillates between abstraction and representation.  During his walks he does numerous sketches and he is strongly influenced by Turner, Constable and flemish landscapes by painters such as Rubens.  He works solely in Black and White and lets the work be informed by the landscape being  painted.  I find this picture highly evocative- the mood and feel of the towpath is strongly captured with a sense of reflections in water below.

Landscape No 624 1999-2000 John Virtue born 1947 Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 2002

Landscape No 624 1999-2000 John Virtue born 1947 Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 2002  Acrylic paint, ink and shellac on 4 canvases3665 x 2667 x 25 mm

Nicholas Herbert produces mainly small drawings in a limited colour palette and textural monochromes.  His work is informed by the visual experience of the landscape of the Chiltern Hills.  His atmospheric approach, capturing qualities of light, gives the viewer a sense of the feeling of “being there”.  His work is abstract and brooding as in the example below from the link suggested by the course notes 



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