Finding Utopia - Daniel Lovell

This gallery is a comparative collection of landscape paintings from different cultures within the 19th century. The effect of colour choices and the different texture styles used within each painting is analysed to compare the different interpretations of landscapes. Each culture has it’s own unique style, which focuses on highlighting different aspects of a landscape.

The Rock Mountain Landscape painting depicts a vast mountainous landscape encapsulated by clouds, which highlights the beauty and complexities of nature. The complementary yellows, violets, yellow-greens and violet-reds within the mountains and clouds captures our attention, which adds a subtle contrast between the two intertwined elements. The strong contrast of light and dark draws our eyes to the top of the mountain between the clouds to reveal a place of perfection, a utopia.
The Snowy Landscape at Crozant painting by Armand Guillaumin depicts a French countryside affected by harsh winters. The rough and undefined texture created from each brush stroke enhances the feel of a land troubled by blustery winter weather. The heavy dominance of white is a contrast to its texture. The white adds a sense of purity and goodness to the painting, which portrays a place that is untouched and undamaged.
The Zealand Lanscape painting by Johan Thomas Lundbye depicts a peaceful eulogised Danish countryside set within the spring/autumn season. The analogous blend of greens, yellow-greens, yellows and oranges creates a pleasing and relaxing scheme. The warm tones of these colours coupled with the contrasting blues and whites reflect the theme of a utopia.
Forest landscape with flowing water and two hunters depicts an eerie forest with a colour scheme that further enhances the texture and characteristics of the forest. The most striking visual element is the consistent use of browns and blacks as this effectively translates the rough and earthy texture of the forest.
Autumn Landscape depicts a free form 19th century painting of a Japanese valley set in the autumn. This painting has a smooth and vague look, due to its exclusion of defined lines. The exclusion of lines in this painting gives the landscape a soft, misty texture that fully submerges each aspect of the painting with each other. This smooth transition gives the painting a dream like quality that is befitting of a utopia.
The Italian Landscape depicts the memories of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and his own ideas of a utopia, through the combination of ancient and modern Italian culture existing together. The strong presence of green brings a sense of growth and harmony to the painting. The strong greens and detailed textures of the tree leaves, coupled with the hazy, distant, sun covered buildings in the background indicates an abundance of wealth and perfection, which is a suitable representation of a utopia.
The Landscape with a Bare Tree and a Plowman painting depicts a solitary well-defined tree set within a glowing sunset sky. The warm orange-yellow colour used for the sky presents a feeling of relaxation and a sense of calm, which also highlights the extreme details of the tree through the contrast of light and dark colours. The wiry leafless branches spread out into the sky in a curved fashion to give the painting a visually relaxing look.
The Autumn Landscape painting depicts a vision of a Danish dreamland envisaged by members of the contemporary philosophical art circles. The rough textures within the painting coupled with the heavy usage of browns and other earthy colours gives the painting a gritty natural look, which depicts the season of autumn and a land that has been unaffected by any unnatural elements. The red-brown colours of the castle helps it to blend in with its surroundings, which allows every visual element within the painting an equal share of importance and attention.
The Landscape near Arles painting depicts a Vincent van Gogh style landscape painting of a village that portrays Paul Gauguin's own interpretation of colour and shape. The brush strokes and the bright colours give this painting a very flat two-dimensional feel, as there isn’t a great amount of detail added to each element within the painting. The colours are the main focal point of this painting, as it is used to convey emotion. The bright colours portray a happy and prosperous village, with the simplistic style depicting the simple life of a 19th century village.
The landscape with Lake and Boatman painting depicts the come to an end of a hard working day. The colour contrast of the light colours from the sky and the dark colours of the landscape draws our eyes to the sunset sky as the main focal point. The warm analogous yellows, orange-yellows and oranges create a pleasing and relaxing scheme that indicates a time of rest, which is further enhanced by the smooth and soft textures of the grass. These formal elements coupled with the subtle natural browns and greens of the landscape give the painting a sense of a utopia.
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.