The genesis of landscape painting as an art onto itself initially developed from the great painter, Claude Lorrain. Other artists who helped spear head this new form of classical art were Poussin and Carracci. Landscape painting has always been a part of art, yet mostly before Carracci and Claude , landscape was seen as more of a background for figure painting. As landscape painting progressed within history the size of the figures in the landscape became smaller and eventually vanished. To me the figure in landscape painting is a crucial thing, no matter how large or small. I believe the figure in the landscape helps the viewer to relate to the scene emotionally. It can also be an interesting devise, for example a smaller figure can make the landscape feel more epic.
For example in the two paintings above, both depict the same mountains (North Carter and Imp, in NH), but the figure in both of them is used in different ways. The painting on top has more a feeling intimacy, gazing at the view from under the bow of a tree. Where as in the painting below, the figure is much smaller which gives the mountain and the whole space more a feeling of grandeur.
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