Composition of Vast Landscapes

I chose to focus on the composition of some epic landscapes because they interested me. I always found it mesmerizing to be able to look into a piece in the same way that you could look off into the distance, out into the horizon. I feel like the variation in landscape found across the pieces that I have chosen shows just how expansive some of these pieces can be. 

Mist in Kanab Canyon, Utah, Thomas Moran, 1892, From the collection of: Smithsonian American Art Museum
I chose to include this piece because it it provides the viewer an expansive landscape to look across. The use of complimentary colors in this piece help make the river more vibrant and draw your attention towards the center.
Ville d'Avray, Camille COROT, 1835/1840, From the collection of: Artizon Museum, Ishibashi Foundation
I chose this piece because of the way that the dark foreground acts within the piece. It helps to draw the viewer's attention to the much more saturated background along with the help of the road.
Cotopaxi, Frederic Edwin Church, 1855, From the collection of: Smithsonian American Art Museum
I chose this piece simply because of the scope of its composition. The small houses placed towards the foreground helps puts the mountain into scale.
The Subsiding of the Waters of the Deluge, Thomas Cole, 1829, From the collection of: Smithsonian American Art Museum
I chose this piece because of the way its composition was great. The contrast between foreground and background help to highlight key parts of this piece.
The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane, John Quidor, 1858, From the collection of: Smithsonian American Art Museum
I chose to add this piece to my gallery on composition because of the way it highlights the characters in accordance to the landscape. The headless horseman is composed of very dark tones while Ichabod is very bright in contrast.
Aurora Borealis, Frederic Edwin Church, 1865, From the collection of: Smithsonian American Art Museum
I picked this piece for the gallery because the aurora is massive and mesmerizing in comparison to the small ship. It give the piece a sense of scale, making it very interesting to look at.
Abraham's Oak, Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1905, From the collection of: Smithsonian American Art Museum
I picked this piece because while it uses generally muted colors, the landscape is brought unto proportion by the man in the lower right hand corner of the piece.
Miners in the Sierras, Charles Christian Nahl, 1851-1852, From the collection of: Smithsonian American Art Museum
I chose to include this piece in my gallery because of the way its colors contrasted with one another. The oranges in the dirt and the blues in the rocks really made this piece pop.
Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, Thomas Cole, 1828, From the collection of: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
I chose to add this piece to my gallery because the lifeless mountain area leading into the vibrant environment full of green give the viewer a sense of awe when they view the piece.
Forest of Fontainebleau, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, 1846, From the collection of: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
I chose this piece for my gallery because of the high level of detail put into its composition. The way that the trees were painted and how they brought the viewers focus towards the center of the piece make it very engaging.
Elijah in the Desert, Washington Allston, 1818, From the collection of: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
I chose to add this piece to my gallery because of the way its creator painted the sky. It's composition gives it a very heavy feeling. Like there is so little on the ground yet the sky seems to trap everything on the ground.
Approaching Storm: Beach near Newport, Martin Johnson Heade, about 1861 - 1862, From the collection of: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
I chose to add this piece to my gallery because of the contrast between land and sky. The sand contrasts very well with the sky. The horizon line is very clear as the sky and sea contrast nicely with one another.
View of Alkmaar, Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael, 1670 - 1675, From the collection of: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
I chose to add this piece to my gallery because of the way the land in the foreground makes the sky look massive. Having all of those tiny people walking along the path gives the sky a much greater effect.
View from Stalheim, Johan Christian Dahl, 1842, From the collection of: The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Norway
I chose to include this piece in my gallery because the scenery helps itself look big. The small valley full of cattle give the rest of the scene a much grander appearance, especially with the placement of the double rainbow.
Rainy Season in the Tropics, Frederic Edwin Church, 1866, From the collection of: de Young museum
I chose to include this piece in my gallery because of the way the rainbows draw the viewer's attention towards the center of the piece. The people making their way through the jungle give this sense of awe to the piece.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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