Majestic Mountains - Brian Beardsley

A collection of landscape pieces featuring detailed mountains. Each piece of art in the collection will be studied and analyzed to find out why/how the mountains improve or enhance each landscape. Mountains may seem like a small part of landscapes but often they are overlooked and without them, most landscapes would lose their unity.

This piece by William Keith is filled with amazing textures and has a lot of nice contrast. It features hills in the foreground with a river flowing in between. What brings it all together for me is the mountain in the distance. It grabs the viewers focus and and creates a sense of unity. Allthough the mountain is far away, the eyes are drawn to it due to it being at the center of the piece and because its out in the open. From the amazingly done clouds to the grasses in the foreground, the entire painting is fantastic.
This piece by William Bradford has a winding river in the foreground which leads to a spectacular valley filled with trees and surrounded by extremely detailed cliffs. Through the valley you can see a colorful sunset that turns all the cliffs on the left orange. This painting's use of color is probably my favorite part. You can even see the reflection of the sunset in the small river in the foreground. In addition, the texture of the cliffs is so well done you can hardly tell this is a painting.
This piece by Albert Bierstadt is one of my favorites in the collection. In the foreground a pack of deer drink from the lake that is being fed water from the many waterfalls. The amount of detail in the painting is limitless. The trees off to the right look so natural and the cliffs to the left are textured to look incredibly lifelike. The main focus of this painting however is the large mountain in the background. The snowy peaks are highlighted by the sun beaming through the clouds and give an amazing contrast that brings life to this piece. The unity here is uncanny. This piece truly is worth 1000 words.
Another piece by Albert Bierstadt that features 2 men on horseback standing on a grassy hill in the foreground and fantastic snowy mountains the background. The clouds surround the mountains giving off a sense of how high up they are and the contrast between the grassy hills and the snow gives off a sense of distance. This piece seems to be more simplistic than other works by Bierstadt but still very well done regardless. The shading on the mountains created by the clouds is one of the things that creates a realistic feeling in addition to the usual amazing textures that Bierstadt is so good at.
Another piece by Albert Bierstadt that gives off an incredible sense of unity. Deer sit in a small grassy area in the foreground next to a rapidly flowing river. The river is originating from a waterfall up in the rocky peaks. I enjoy how you can see the mist coming up from the waterfall as the water hits the rocks below and the trees on either side of the river add quite a bit. The bending tree in the foreground draws the eyes and gives off a natural and lifelike feel to the painting.
I love this piece from the 17th century by Wang Shimin. It features many hills and cliffs all drawn with similar patterns and Shimin has added trees and even some houses here and there to add to the detail. The mist is another thing that adds detail and even reinforces the "Spring" in the title. All the shading in the mountains and hills gives a unique look and truly sets this piece apart from the others.
Another one of my favorites in the collection by Yokoyama Taikan that features a mountain range poking through the misty fog after a rain shower. The small trees off to left create a good sense of scale and the way this piece is done almost forces the viewer to look at it starting from the bottom right and work their way up diagonally to the left until you get to the biggest mountain in the background. All the hills are drawn to look rocky but then have little patches of foliage on them here and there. I just love how you can imagine this scene without the mist even though in reality the mist is just negative space that was not used at all. This piece inspires me to try out this method of using negative space to create clouds or fog because it works so well here.
Yet another piece by Albert Bierstadt that is truly a sight to behold. The rocky landscape in the foreground is covered by trees and leads up to even more rocky cliffs with a small waterfall in the distance. In addition to lifelike textured mountains in this picture, the clouds have small openings that let beams of light through that highlight the center of this piece and create an amazing contrast between the foreground and background.
Another piece by Albert Bierstadt that is more simplistic than his others, yet is one of my favorites. The foreground features a small river flowing in between trees and rocks and by itself is extremely well done. However, the focus of this picture is where it shines. The large mountain in the background stands tall above all else and brings this whole piece together. Without the mountain in this picture, it would just be a simple landscape. By just adding a large, detailed focus in this picture Bierstadt has created unity and a sense of scale that makes this an even more life-like picture.
I chose this Bierstadt piece for the collection because of how much I liked the textures and patterns of the cliffs in the background. The foreground also features much detail and adds quite a bit but the mountains are where it shines. The sun is creeping over the mountains, illuminating some of them but not the valley below quite yet which is a good use of contrast. Just by adding incredibley detailed textures and some focusing light, it grasps the attention of the viewer.
Credits: All media
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