Last updated 1 November 2018.

[NB: I have a new kind of Chronology under construction here but it's very limited at the moment]  

This is a selective chronology for Some Landscapes, focusing on cultural events, books and other artworks I have mentioned on the blog. 

I hope it gives a sense of how landscape has been treated in the arts over time, with the obvious proviso that it is tied to the things I have actually written about and is therefore unsystematic and idiosyncratic.  Some of my blog posts don't feature here, a few feature more than once. 

The chronology goes up to 2000 but is quite selective for more recent decades - it would be unwieldy to mention all the books and paintings, albums and films I have mentioned for the post-World War 2 period.  

As with my blog's index, there is some colour-coding used here.  This time it is based on region (I always like the old Penguin Classics four-colour scheme, red for English language, yellow for European, purple for Classical, green for Oriental).  Inevitably, though, assigning individual people and events to one particular colour is sometimes difficult.  First, what's being referred to here is the modern name of the geographical area, so 'Italy' covers things that happened in what is now Italy (i.e. it doesn't encompass the whole Roman Empire).  The colours often refer to the location of the landscape concerned or the place an artwork was made, so where a European artist is in China or South America I have colour coded it according to that location rather than their nationality.  However, if someone simply imagined a foreign landscape without ever having been there I have used the location where they were doing the imagining. 

As you scan through the list you can see the way certain cultures dominate at different times: Greek, Roman, Chinese, Italian, Dutch, British, French, American.  But perhaps it's the exceptions that are more interesting...


  • Britain and Ireland
  • France and Switzerland
  • Benelux
  • Germany and Austria
  • Spain and Portugal
  • Scandinavia and Iceland
  • Italy
  • Greece
  • Eastern Europe and Russia


  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Other Africa
  • North America
  • South America and Caribbean
  • Japan
  • China
  • Other Asian, Pacific, Antarctic
  • Australia and New Zealand

The Second Millennium BCE

c. 1800 BCE

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh contains the first literary depiction of a garden.   >> The Jewelled Garden

The Eighth Century BCE

c. 715 BCE

  • Sargon II (722 – 705 BCE) lays out parks north of Nineveh, around Khorasabad.  A bas relief (c. 715) shows this park to have had a man-made hill planted with a grove of trees, along with a small temple. It is one of the earliest depictions anywhere of a managed landscape.   >> The royal park in Nineveh

c. 700 BCE

  • Sargon II’s son Sennacherib (reigned 705 – 681 BCE)built his own gardens at Nineveh from around 700.  He wrote a description of it: 'The cypresses, palms and all other trees grew magnificently and budded richly’.   >> The royal park in Nineveh
  • Hesiod's Works and Days has a few moments of landscape poetry, like his description of ploughing.   >> The season of rainy winter

The Seventh Century BCE

c. 650 BCE

  • Alcman, a lyric poet from Sparta, is the author of a fragment that would later inspire Goethe's 'Wanderer's Night Song'.   >> The Wanderer's Night Song

The Fifth Century BCE

405 BCE

  • The first production of Iphigenia in Aulis by Euripides which begins in the grey light of dawn - Greek open air theatres had no sets beyond what was provided by the stage and the sky..   >> Dawn growing grey

The Fourth Century BCE

c. 370 BCE

  • In Plato's Phaedrus Socrates is taken to a beautiful riverside, but makes a point of reminding Phaedrus as they walk there: 'I am a lover of knowledge, and the men who dwell in the city are my teachers, and not the trees or the country.'   >> The Valley of the Ladies

c. 330 BCE

c. 300 BCE
  • Qu Yuan is supposed to have drowned himself in the Miluo River after falling our of favour with the King of Chu.  His poem 'Li sao' contains symbolic flower imagery. Other poems in the Chu Ci ('Songs of the South') were also attributed to him.   >> Nine acres of orchids

The Third Century BCE

c. 275 BCE
  • Anyte of Tegea lived in Arcadia in the early third century BCE.  She seems to have been 'the first poet to write epitaphs on animals, and to introduce bucolic themes into epigram.'  >> Where sea-grass tangles with shore-grass

c. 270 BCE

  • The Idylls of Theocritus.  His bucolic poems influenced directly or indirectly all subsequent European pastoral poetry. 'Here there are bays, and here slender cypresses, / Here is sombre ivy, and here the vine's sweet fruit...'   >> Like a crystal flood

c. 260 BCE

  • King Xian reigned at this time in the southern Chinese kingdom of Chu. Among his courtiers was the poet Song Yu, whose 'Nine Changes' became 'the locus classicus for later Chinese poetry of autumnal melancholy.'   >> Nine acres of orchids

210 BCE

  • Death of Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor.  His burial chamber formed a kind of landscape, with rivers and seas of mercury.   >> Buried rivers of mercury

The Second Century BCE

154 BCE

  • Mei Shen was the author of poems including his 'Seven Incitements', one of which described a tidal bore, another a mountain landscape where the wood for a qin had grown.  In this year he joined the court at Liang. Later he would be summoned by Emperor Wu but died on the journey.   >> The paulownia of Lung-men

137 BCE

  • Sima Xiangru is called to the court of the Han Emperor Wu. There he would compose his famous rhyme-prose on the emperor's hunting grounds, Shanglin Park.  >> Shanglin Park

The First Century BCE

52 BCE

  • Cicero begins De Legibus (On the Laws) which begins with a scene at his villa where Cicero (Marcus), his brother Quintus and friend Atticus are looking at an old oak tree, a scene later painted by artists like Richard Wilson.   >> Tusculan's romantic groves

45 BCE

  • Cicero describes 'second nature' in De natura deorum - 'by means of our hands we try to create as it were a second nature within the natural world.'   >> Third nature

c. 40 BCE

38 BCE

29 BCE

  • Virgil begins writing The Aeneid. It includes a scene where Aeneas and his companions, survivors of the Trojan War, encounter a king who shows them the ruins of ancient buildings and the wooded hills on which Rome will one day rise.   >> From pastoral ruin to pastoral ruin

23 BCE

  • The Odes of Horace. Ode 3.13 praises the Bandusian Spring and, as Gilbert Highet wrote, 'this little place, because of Horace’s eloquence, became one of the ideal spots in the imagination of thousands of readers'.   >> The Bandusian spring

The First Century

c. 0

  • Pliny the Elder's Natural History mentions Studius, 'a painter of the days of Augustus, who introduced a delightful style of decorating walls with representations of villas, harbours, landscape gardens, sacred groves, woods, hills, fishponds, straits, streams and shores.'   >> A delightful style of decorating walls 


  • Ovid is sent into exile and about this time his Metamorphoses was published. Among its landscape moments, there is Polyphemus climbng to the apex of a hill on a spur jutting out into the sea and comparing Galatea to the beauties of nature.  >> Like a crystal flood

c. 60

  • The Sixth Satire of Persius (Aulus Persius Flaccus), which would be translated by Dryden in the 1690s, has a land-owner who rejoices in his life free from the concerns of business and state: 'here I enjoy my private Thoughts'.  >> Rain-saturated, churning, chanting thunder

The Second Century

c. 108

  • Pliny the Younger's letter on the Springs of Clitumnus: 'it spreads into a broad pool, pure and clear as glass, so that you can count the coins that have been thrown into it and the pebbles glittering at the bottom'.   >> The Springs of Clitumnus

c. 150

  • Reading about the passing of the seasons and the growing love of Daphnis and Chloe, it is easy to forget that the landscape Longus is describing is actually made up of the estates of rich men, living away in the city, and that Daphnis and Chloe are actually slaves.   >> Daphnis and Chloe

The Third Century


  • The Chinese warlord and poet Cao Cao writes his 'Song on enduring the Cold' while leading his troops across the Tai-hang mountains to attack a rival.   >> The voice of the north wind sad


  • Chinese poet Cao Zhi (son of Cao Cao) writes his fu poem 'The nymph of the Luo River', which would later be the subject of a famous painting by Gu Kaizhi.   >> The Nymph of the Luo River

The Fourth Century


  • Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine, returns from her trip to locate relics in the Holy Land.  She had transported, with great effort, soil from the site of the Crucifixion "soaked with the blood of Christ," which she then laid into the floor of her chapel in Rome.   >> An ancient earthworks project

c. 335

  • The Latin poet Tiberianus flourished at this time and may have composed the nature poem, ‘Amnis ibat inter arua ualle fusus frigida…', a depiction of locus amoenus.   >> Locus amoenus


  • The Moselle, an influential Latin landscape poem by Decimus Magnus Ausonius was probably written in 370-1.   >> The Moselle


  • Gu Kaizhi wrote an essay on landscape art, Painting Yuntai Mountain, and was a pioneer of handscroll painting.  He was active at this time - in this year he visited the grave of Huan Wen, for whom he was working as an administrator.  >> The Nymph of the Luo River

The Fifth Century


  • Tao Yuanming (also known as T'ao Ch'ien or Tao Qian) leaves the army and goes into retirement, living in a farming village in Jiangsu province near Lu Mountain.  He wrote that whenever he started trying to explain Lu Mountain, 'I forget words altogether'.  >> Hunger Mountain


  • Tao Yuanming who is traditionally seen as the founder of 'fields-and-gardens' poetry, writes his influential story on the Peach Blossom Spring.   >> The Peach Blossom Spring


  • Hsieh Ling-yün (Xie Lingyun), who initiated the shan-shui ("rivers-and-mountains") tradition in Chinese poetry, is exiled to Yung-chia on the southeast coast where he grows to love the wild scenery.  >> On a Tower Beside the Lake

The Sixth Century


  • The beginning of the Liang Dynasty in China.  Liu Xie (Liu Hsieh, c. 465-522) was active at this time - in The Literary Mind Carves Dragons he wrote that the best poets attended to the world by 'sculpting' the landscape, delineating details with no need of additional embellishment.  >> Mountains and forests and the marshy banks of rivers

c. 547

  • Gildas briefly describes the landscape of Britain in De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae: 'Its plains are spacious, its hills are pleasantly situated, adapted for superior tillage, and its mountains are admirably calculated for the alternate pasturage of cattle...'   >> Abundant brooks wandering over the snow white sands

c. 550

  • The Spring of Khosrow, a vast silk Persian carpet (84 x 35ft) depicting a royal garden is made for the Sāsānian king Khosrow I.   >> The spring of Khosrow

The Seventh Century


  • Beginning of the reign of Emperor Jomei, whose poem in the Manyōshū ('Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves'), 'Climbing Mount Kagu', describes the view from the mountain down towards the land of Yamato.   >> Climbing Mount Kagu


  • On October 3rd, Wang Bo (Wang Po) is invited to a feast at the Pavilion of the Prince of T'eng.  There he writes his famous Preface, introducing poems, to be composed at the feast, which describe the surrounding landscape.   >> The Pavilion of Prince T'eng


  • Sun Guoting writes his Treatise on Calligraphy and recommends drawing inspiration from rolling thunder, toppling rocks, flying geese, animals in flight, dancing phoenixes, startled snakes, sheer cliffs, crumbling peaks, threatening clouds and cicadas wings.  >> When the brush moves, water flows from a spring

The Eighth Century


  • Completion of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus with mosaics, depicting landscapes and buildings in a late Roman style. They were admired by Robert Byron in his classic travel book The Road to Oxiana.  >> Landscape mosaics of the Omayad Mosque

c. 720

  • Li Zhaodao (Li Chao-tao), who flourished in the early eighth century, was one of the originators of the qinglu (blue and green) style of landscape painting.   >> The Emperor Ming-huang's Journey to Shu


  • Meng Haoran (Meng Hao-jan) visits Wang Wei in Chang 'an.  Meng lived a simple life in the mountain writing poetry.   >> Lit dew shimmers


c. 730

  • The painter Lu Hong (Lu Haoran) was active at this time.  His Ten Views from a Thatched Hut (known from a later copy) may be 'the first work in Chinese art history that we could call a scholarly painting.'   >> Ten Views from a Thatched Hut



  • Sometime around this date Wang Wei acquired his Lantian estate, setting for the Wang River Sequence.   >> Deer Park


  • Eight short poems record an autumn evening at Tung-t'ing (Dong-ting) Lake where three exiles, Li Po, Chia Chih and Li Yeha, enjoy a moment of reflection before events, like waves on the lake, come to sweep them up again.   >> Some wine beside the white clouds

c. 765

  • Zhang Ji (Chang Chi) writes 'Maple Bridge Night Mooring'.  Gary Snyder has translated this and also written a poem himself called 'On Maple Bridge' (1984).   >> At Maple Bridge


  • Yüan Chien composes a ming inscription for a terrace over the Hsiang River.   >> Inscribed landscapes

The Ninth Century

c. 800


  • Liu Zong-yuan goes into exile where he will write his Eight Accounts of Yong-zhou.   >> River Snow
  • Meng Chiao gives up on official life an retires to Lo-yang.  His disturbing late poems include 'Laments of the Gorges'.  >> Sadness of the Gorges
  • Li He attempts the Imperial Examination - at the age of 20 he is already a renowned poet.  White was the colour he most freuently used in his imagery. 'He's landscapes, drenched in this white radiance, shine with an unearthly pallor.' >> Soundless hang mountain waterfalls, rainbows of jade
  • Bai Juyi (Po Chü-i) composed poems about Mt Lu and a famous prose account of the thatch hut he built there in 817, facing Incense-Burner’s north slope.   >> Lu Mountain's true face
  • Bai Juyi is made prefect of Hangzhou where he helps create the famous landscape of West Lake by building a causeway that now bears his name.   >> The West Lake of Hangzhou

c. 840

  • Abu Tammam (c805-45) writes an Arabic qasida (ode) on Spring describing the desert flowers.   >> Desert in bloom


  • Bai Juyi hosts a party for his venerable friends, celebrated later in a spectacular jade landscape carving The Nine Elders of Huichang (1787).   >> Jade mountain

c. 850

  • An anonymous ninth century Irish monastic poem celebrates the pleasure of books and nature.   >> Flickering sunlight

c. 870

  • Minamoto no Toru designs a Kyoto garden to resemble the Bay of Shiogama.  >> The Bay of Shiogama


  • Ki no Tsurayuki writes a poem after visiting Minamoto no Tōru's mansion, with its garden resembling the Bay of Shogama.  Tsurayuki's poem refers to the lonely beach and vanished smoke of Shiogama; it would inspire the play Tōru by Zeami.   >> Shiogama Bay


  • The first collection of writings by artist and writer Guanxiu (Kuan-hsiu).  He was one of many Buddhists who wrote on the theme of 'living in the mountains'.  'I love pines, and leave the branches that hinder other men's way.'   >> Clouds break over the land, spring light stirs

The Tenth Century


  • The Kokinshū is compiled by four Japanese court poets, led by Ki no TsurayukiIts poems are arranged by season - spring topics include lingering snow and plum blossoms, mist, bush warblers, returning wild geese, green willow, yellow kerria, new herbs, wisteria and, of course, cherry blossoms.   >> Plum blossom on snow



  • In China, Emperor Zhenzong’s reign begins.  His Painter-in-Waiting was Yan Wenghui about whose landscapes the Song Dynasty critic Liu Daochun wrote: 'A thousand miles in a single foot - such was his subtlety!'   >> Clouds and Mist in the Mountains

The Eleventh Century

c. 1000

  • Fan Kuan paints Travellers among Mountains and Streams using the 'rain dot stroke', which one source characterises as 'many perpendicular, forceful, short lines executed under a quick brush. Collectively, they look like the marks left by a heavy rain on a mud wall.'   >> Like clouds accompanying the rising summer sun


  • Wang-An-shih, poet and later Prime Minister of China, wrote an account of an expedition he made this year to a cave at the Mountain Where Hui-pao Meditated    >> The Mountain Where Hui-pao Meditated

c. 1060

  • The Sarashina Nikki (As I Crossed A Bridge of Dreams) by Takasue no Musume begins with an account of the journey she made with her family as a twelve-year old from Kazusa to Kyoto.   >> Rain drops on maple leaves
  • Song Di (Sung Ti) is credited with inventing the 'Eight Views of the Hsiao and Hsiang Rivers' tradition, painting it on the walls of a terrace overlooking Ch'ang-sha.   >> Eight Views of the Hsiao and Hsiang Rivers

c. 1080

  • Old Trees, Level Distance - a misty 'landscape of emotion' - is painted by by Guo Xi (c. 1000-90).   >> Whiling Away the Summer  


  • The poet Su Shi writes his two great 'Red Cliff Odes' on visits he made to the site of a famous battle.  In the first he drifts in a boat with friends and in the second he climbs the cliff, until a wind suddenly rises and he feels a chill of fear...    >> Red Cliff 


  • Su Shih visits a famous sonorous landscape called Stone Bell Mountain and decides to investigate, finding there a huge rock 'hollow inside, and it also had many holes in it. It swallowed and spit out the wind and water, giving off ringing sounds'.   >> Stone Bell Mountain


  • The great Song Dynasty statesman, scientist and writer Shen Kuo's Dream Pool Essays includes a description of the landscape at Geese Pond Mountain.   >> Geese Pond Mountain

The Twelfth Century


  • The extraordinary blue and green landscape A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains by Wang Ximeng,a talented painter who died aged just 23.   >> The Narrow Waters


  • At Kaifeng the Chinese Emperor Huizong completes the great rock garden he had commissioned, containing the rarest and biggest stones and every sort of plant from all over his empire.   >> The Mountain of Stability

c. 1125

c. 1140

  • Mi Youren paints Cloudy Mountains.  The 'cloudy mountain' genre developed by Mi Youren and his father Mi Fu 'suggests the importance of the painter's psychological expression, thereby raising the status of painting to that of poetry and calligraphy.'   >> Clouds and Mist in the Mountains


  • An example of Japanese reed writing, developed in the Heian dynasty as a form of calligraphy written in such a way as to imitate natural forms: Sesonji Koreyuki's Wakan rōeishū Anthology.   >> Reed writing


  • Saigyō Hōshi travels to Shikoku, where he adds prose introductions to his poems in a way that would later influence Basho.   >> Fallen willow leaves   


  • Fan Ch'eng-ta, one of the 'Four Masters of Southern Sung Poetry', specialising in the field-and-gardens genre, describes Mount Emei in his Diary of a Boat Trip to Wu   >> This snow has never melted


  • Fujiwara Shunzei completes his anthology Senzaishū, which contains poetry by his friend, the great wandering Buddhist poet Saigyō Hōshi.   >> The dew under the blossoms


  • Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury, sets out to travel through Wales recruiting men for the Third Crusade.  He is accompanied by Gerald of Wales, whose book The Journey Through Wales contains many interesting references to nature and topography.  >> The Journey Through Wales

The Thirteenth Century

c. 1200

  • Ma Yuan, active ca. 1189-1225, paints Watching the Deer by a Pine-shaded Stream, the kind of painting that may eventually have influenced Wallace Stevens.   >> By a pine-shaded stream


  • Liang Kai leaves the the Song painting academy in Hangzhou to paint at a Buddhist temple.  His Poet Strolling by a Marshy Bank emphasises the inaccessibility of the distant landscape by a massive overhanging cliff, partially obstructing the poet's view.  >> Whiling Away the Summer


  • Ma Yuan's Water Album, twelve images of water in various states, including Clouds Rising from the Green Sea, Ten Thousand Riplets on the Yangzi and The Yellow River Breaches its Course.   >> Clouds Rising from the Green Sea

c. 1225

  • The German Minnesinger Neidhart von Reuental was active at this time.  He tended to classify his work 'into “summer” and “winter” songs, according to which season he employed in the Natureingang (nature introduction) that opens nearly every song.'   >> When the soft wind turns bitter
  • The Guillaume de Dole, an Old French narrative romance by Jean Renart was composed in the early 13th century.  It includes a description of the transformation of the landscape in Spring by decorating houses with leaves and branches on the first of May.   >> Everywhere they tossed grass and flowers

c. 1230

  • An illustration in the illuminated manuscript now called the Carmina Burana 'shows two scenes in verdant woodland.  This must be a prime candidate for the earliest pure landscape in all of medieval art.'   >> From the flowers of summer

c. 1250

  • Another Chinese monk Yu-chien creates the effect of a landscape dissolving in the haze in his ink painting A Mountain Village in Clearing Mist. >> A Mountain Village in Clearing Mist


  • Ma Lin’s Sunset Landscape seems almost to be an elegy for his dynasty.  It includes two lines by Wang Wei.   >> Sunset Landscape

c. 1265

c. 1270

  • 'Clouds over the Xiao and Xiang Rivers' (Xiaoxiang Shuiyun), one of the most famous qin melodies, composed at the end of the Song dynasty by Guo Mian (or Guo Chuwang).   >> Clouds over the Xiao and Xiang Rivers

c. 1287

  • Zhao Mengfu's painting The Mind Landscape of Xie Youyu.  Xie was a Jin dynasty scholar-official who saw himself as no match for another official when it came to duties, but was superior when it came to 'a hill and stream' - imagining himself away from court and finding repose in nature. >> The Mind Landscape of Xie Youyu


  • Zhao Mengfu's Autumn colours on the Qiao and Hua mountains.  According to James Elkins, he crystallised past styles in an analogous way to Alberti, Brunelleschi and Masaccio. >> Autumn colours on the Qiao and Hua mountains

c. 1297

  • A Persian translation of Ibn Bakhtishu’s Manafi’ al-hayawan, a book that describes birds, insects and animals and includes 94 illustrations, integrating the animals into landscapes which suggest an awareness of Chinese painting.   >> Two rams fighting

The Fourteenth Century

c. 1300


  • Zhao Mengfu's painting Water Village.  It had a pictorial realism that impressed the writers of colophons appended over the years - one said you could almost forget it is actually a picture.  >> Water Village


  • Guan Daosheng's Bamboo Groves in Mist and Rain, a bamboo painting that, unusually, included its wider landscape setting.  Poet, painter and calligrapher, Guan Daosheng was the wife of Zhao Mengfu.   >> Elegant Rocks and Sparse Trees

c. 1310

  • Twin Pines, Level Distance by the artist-calligrapher Zhao Mengfu.  Zhao advocated different writing styles for different landscape elements - unmodulated seal script for trees, 'flying white' cursive script for rocks.   >> Whiling Away the Summer


  • The autobiography of Lady Nijō (Gofukakusa in Nijō).  She mentions being inspired at the age of nine by reading one of Saigyō's poems, on a mountain stream and scattering cherry blossoms.   >> The dew under the blossoms



  • Kenkō's ‘Essays in Idleness’ describes the difficulties of viewing cherry blossoms when 'rustic boors' push their way through the crowds, drink sake and break off the branches.   >> Under cherry trees


  • Petrarch's ascent of Mont Ventoux, his only motive 'the wish to see what so great a height had to offer.'   >> The Ascent of Mount Ventoux


  • Petrarch discovers 'a delightful valley, narrow and secluded, called Vaucluse ... Captured by the charms of the place, I transferred myself and my books there.'   >> The source of the Sorgue


  • The famous Japanese poet and garden designer Musō Soseki is asked to design a new garden for the temple at Saihō-ji.  Centuries later it would become famous for its moss.   >> It will hold the spring sunlight
  • In Siena Ambrogio Lorenzetti paints his depiction of life in the countryside in the Palazzo Pubblico frescoes of Good and Bad Government.   >> Good Government in the Countryside

c. 1340

  • The great Welsh poet Dafydd ap Gwilym was active about this time.  As Jay Griffiths has written, 'he sung himself into the land, asking birds, animals and the wind to carry messages to all his well-beloveds.'   >> A hedge of rain to hinder my good fortune


  • Boccaccio's ten young Florentines in The Decameron find refuge from the plague in two gardens, described on the first and third days, and then a garden-like landscape, The Valley of the Ladies, which they explore on the sixth.   >> The Valley of the Ladies


  • The Tale of the Heike written down by a biwa hōshi (lute playing minstrel-priest) called Kakuichi.  The story contains two characters who recreate a landscape in exile the remote island of Kikai-ga-shimam.   >> On a Journey, Lodging Beneath the Blossoms


  • Ni Zan paints a Landscape now in the National Museum at Taipei.  His work exemplifies the kind of art François Jullien writes about in his book In Praise of Blandness.    >> The landscape of the bland


  • Wang Meng's painting Lin-wu Grotto at Chu-ch'u - 'topography reveals itself convulsively before our eyes like some mountainous mass in the process of solidifying'.   >> The landscape of the bland

c. 1380

  • A poem on Sycharth castle, home of Owain Glyndŵr, by the bard Iolo Goch describes its surrounding landscape.   >> Sycharth Castle


  • The building of Bodiam Castle in Sussex is licensed - the grounds may have been designed partly for aesthetic effect.   >> Bodiam castle


  • William Chaucer begins composing The Canterbury Tales, possibly unfinished at his death in 1400.  The Franklin's Tale concerns the coast of Brittany.  The book begins with a vision of spring: 'Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote, / The droghte of March hath perced to the roote...'   >> The black rocks of Brittany, When the soft wind turns bitter

The Fifteenth Century


  •  A simple line drawing showing a flock of geese flying over a Pastoral Scene to accompany a poem by sultan Ahmad Jalayir which may well have been the work of ‘Abd al-Hayy.   >> Two rams fighting


  • The Limbourg Brothers complete Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry, with miniatures depicting the changing seasons.   >> April at the Chateau of Dourdan


  • Fra Angelico paints the Penitent Saint Jerome, starkly alone, half in shadow, among bear rocks beneath a molten sky.   >> Penitent Saint Jerome


  • A painting by Masolino of The Foundation of Santa Maria Maggiore shows miraculous summer snow.  Today the miracle of the snow is recreated in Santa Maria Maggiore and other churches every year with a shower of flower petals.   >> A snowfall on the Esquiline Hill


  • The city representing Jerusalem in The Deposition from the Cross painted by Fra Angelico is 'exquisitely rendered with the precision of a miniaturist'.   The view behind the woman climbing the hill in The Visitation, also from about this year, is 'the first identifiable landscape in Italian art. >> Vine and blue Appenine, convents and cypresses


  • Zeami writes 'The Book of the Golden Island' (Kintosho), which describes his journey to Sado.  It 'bears the same relation to his plays that Basho's prose-sketches bear to his hokku.'   >> The Golden Island


  • Jan Van Eyck's The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin (c. 1435-7) includes a landscape that would be repeatedly copied by French and Flemish manuscript illuminators. It would also inspire Rogier Van Der Weyden's Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin, c. 1440.   >>   A winding river and a bridge


  • De re aedificatoria, an architectural treatise by Leon Battista Alberti recommends 'paintings depicting the delightful countryside, harbours, fishing, hunting, swimming, the games of shepherds - flowers and verdure...'  >> Fountains, rivers and running brooks

c. 1460

  • In Praise of Spring by Korean poet Chong Kugin, written in retirement and without fame and rank, the poet is happy to have friends...   >> Clear breeze and bright moon


  • Date of the manuscript of Senzui narabi ni yagyo no zu (Illustrations for Designing Mountain, Water, and Hillside Field Landscapes), the most important fifteenth century Japanese garden manual.   >> The ebb-tide beach


  • On August 5th Leonardo da Vinci draws his view of the Arno valley.  We do not know if this sketch was drawn in situ, but as A. Richard Turner writes in The Vision of Landscape in Renaissance Italy, 'these quick lines have all the quality of a spontaneous reaction to a living model.'   >> Landscape with the Penitent St Jerome

c. 1475-80

  • The Trésor des Histoires, a book illuniated in Bruges, 'one of the earliest known European paintings in which landscape is the principal subject.'   >> Landscape in the Trésor des Histoires

c. 1480

  • One of Giovanni Bellini's paintings of Saint Jerome Reading in the Wilderness date from about 1480. The topographical allusions have found various interpretations, since the cityscape is, in Felton Gibbons's words, "a curious potpourri of identifiable monuments".   >> Reading in the Wilderness


  • Returning from his first trip to Venice, Albrecht Dürer paints a House by a Pond on the outskirts of Nuremburg, an image reused in later engravings.   >> House by a pond


  • Writing on Albrecht Dürer, Christopher S. Wood says that his 'landscape watercolours remain emblems of a new concept of artistic authorship grounded in curiosity, desire and attentiveness to the real.'  His sketch of a pine tree dates from 1495-7.   >> Willow Mill

c. 1495-1500

  • Piero di Cosimo's drawings Landscape with the Penitent St Jerome 'compels the viewer to unravel it slowly, a visual equivalent to the pilgrim's slow and difficult ascent to the church in the background.'   >> Landscape with the Penitent St Jerome


  • The strange and beautiful Hypnerotomachia Poliphili is published by Aldus Manutius in December 1499 - written by the monk Francesco Colonna (if we are to believe an acrostic formed by the first letters of each chapter) it narrates the dream journey of Poliphilo in a landscape full of topiary, statuary and buildings.  >> The island of Cytherea

The Sixteenth Century

c. 1500

  • Giorgione’s The Three Philosophers seems to portray the different seasons in one background landscape.   >> The Three Philosophers


  • Lorenzo di Credi adds landscapes to Fra Angelico's The San Domenico Altarpiece (1422-23) - the figures were kept as precious relics of the earlier artist's mastery.   >> Penitent Saint Jerome


  • Antonio Tebaldeo's popular Second Eclogue published - the subject of Andrea Previtali's beautiful paintings in the National Gallery.   >> Scenes from an Eclogue


  • Andrea Solario paints a Crucifixion with distant blue hills.  As Rebecca Solnit says, 'the blue is not in the place those miles away at the horizon, but in the atmospheric distance between you and the mountains.'   >> The world is blue at its edges and in its depths
  • Albrecht Dürer paints his Great Piece of Turf, a landscape in miniature.  The poet Jane Hirshfield has said of its plants that they are 'exiles / writing letters / sent over the mountains' - the exiles are the flowers and their messengers the passing horses and donkeys.   >> The ink dark moon


  • Albrecht Altdorfer's Landscape with Satyr Family, an example of a subgenre: landscapes featuring satyrs and centaurs.   >> Landscape with Satyr Family

c. 1510

  • Jan Gossaert's grisaille painting Saint Jerome Penitent, which bears am uncanny resemblance to a world turned to stone.  Saint Jerome kneels in the rocky landscape with a great stone city in the background, whilst on the other panel, the statue-like figure of Christ is set on a petrified tree beneath an ash-coloured sky.   >> Without Colours    

c. 1510-15


  • 'Even Raphael's picture in the gallery tends toward landscape - of course we must understand something totally different by the term landscape'.  Philipp Otto Runge's puzzling description of The Sistene Madonna.   >> Spirits in the clouds at sunset


  • Matthias Grünewald's Basel Crucifixion:  W. G. Sebald would write of it that 'behind a group of mourners / a landscape reaches so far into the depths / that our eyes cannot see its limits.'  Its strange dark sky may seem unreal but may be inspired by memories of the eclipse of 1502, a 'catastrophic incursion / of darkness, the last trace of light / flickering from beyond.'   >> After Nature
  • Approximate date for the Da Costa Hours, illustrated by Flemish miniaturist Simon Bening.  It's depictions of the Labours of the Months includes May, in which a boat with four passengers glides towards a moated grange to the strains of recorder and lute.   >> Everywhere they tossed grass and flowers


  • The first edition of Utopia by Thomas More.  It comes with a sketch-map of the island by Hans Holbein's elder brother Ambrosius Holbein.   >> Utopia


  • Completion of The Vision of Ezekiel by Raphael and Giulio Romano.  It contains 'in the space of perhaps two inches by eight, the painting takes us on a dizzying flight straight up the Tiber valley to the green heart of Umbria, to the road that still leads from bustling cities like Florence and Perugia to Rome.'   >> The Vision of Ezekiel


  • The Assumption of the Virgin by the Milanese painter, Bergognone.  As you get closer to the painting the landscape - just a detail in the whole composition - becomes more and more like a poetic eighteenth century landscape.   >> Landscape in The Assumption of the Virgin


  • The Ferrarese artist L'Ortolano paints an altarpiece for San Niccoló.  Around this time he produced various religious paintings in which the landscape backgrounds feature strange wave- and cloud-like rock formations.   >> Mountains rising like teeth from the plain
  • In Antwerp the Netherlandish painter Jan Provoost meets Albrecht Dürer.  In Provoost's early fifteenth century The Virgin and Child in a Landscape everything is softly lit, ducks drift slowly down the river and the few figures going about their business are barely visible.   >> The Virgin and Child in a Landscape


  • 'In 1525, during the night between Wednesday and Thursday after Whitsuntide, I had this vision in my sleep, and saw how many great waters fell from heaven.'  Albrecht Dürer paints his extraordinary Dream Vision.   >> Dream Vision in The Time of the Wolf


  • Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg is painted by by Lucas Cranach. It was also at this time (1525-30) that Simon Bening was at work for him on the illustrations or a prayer book with some wonderful landscape backgrounds.  >> Sacred landscapes


  • In Tabriz work continues on an edition of The Shahnameh, taking around a decade to complete (one illustration is dates to this year).  One of its famous paintings, The Court of Gayumars, with remarkable landscape detail, was probably executed by the artist Sultan-Muhammad.   >> The Court of Gayumars


  • An engraving is made of Titian's St Peter Martyr, painted in the late 1520s and now lost.  It was the most copied picture in the world and from it 'there flowed a series of landscape compositions which furnished the seventeenth century'.   >> From the Mountains to the Lagoon


  • From this date Gherardo Cibo began collecting plants and illustrating them with landscape backgrounds for his herbarium.  Some pure landscape skecthes by him also survive.  >> Lichens and Ferns on a Rock Face


  • Wen Zhengming paints aspects of the famous Garden of the Humble Administrator in Suzhou for Wang Xianchen, its owner and designer.   >> Clouds and Mist in the Mountains


  • Melchior Lorck leaves Venice, where he had combined two sketches on one sheet, resulting in Tortoise above the Venetian Lagoon, and arrives at Constantinople where he draws a View over the rooftops of Constantinople.   >> Tortoise above the Venetian lagoon


  • Hieronymus Cock's Aux Quatre Vents print shop publishes a series by an unknown artist known as the Master of the Small Landscapes, credited with turning painters away from the panoramic 'world landscapes' to the kind of modest scenes familiar to us from seventeenth century Dutch art.   >> Various sorts of landscapes with fine histories composed therein

c. 1565


  • Jakob Sandtner makes the first of his detailed wooden models of Bavarian cities.  It is bought by the Bavarian ruler Duke Albrecht V.   >> Plans-Reliefs


c. 1575

  • The Nine Songs of Mount Ku are attributed to the great Korean writer Yi I (1536-84).  They describe a series of inspirational landscapes.   >> Poems of moon and breeze


  • Sen-no Rikyu becomes a tea master for the feudal lord Oda Nobunaga.  There is a story that when designing a garden he once deliberately obscured a view of the sea, so that the visitor could only see it when they bent down to take water from a pond.  >> Collection of Sand


  • Edmund Spenser goes to Ireland and serves under Lord Gray at the Siege of Smerwick massacre.  Reflecting on his life and poetry, Rebecca Solnit has asked: 'Does the English pastoral, and the security and abundance it represents, depend on the impoverished land and people of other lands?'   >> A Book of Migrations


  • The Annunciation painted by Federico Barocci in 1582-4 contains a landscape in the background.  When Barocci died, 170 sketches from nature were among the works listed in his studio.  >> Landscape with Banks and Trees


  • William Camden's topographical book Brittania (Latin 1586, trans 1610).  It describes the inhabitants of Cambridgeshire’s peat fens: ‘a kind of people according to the nature of the place where they dwell rude, uncivill, and envious to all others whom they call Upland-men'.   >> The vast and queachy soil


  • At the end of a great Cha-No-Yu at Kitano, where the tea masters includeded Sen-no Rikyu, 'only the sound of the wind in the pines, which again resumed their sovereignty over the landscape, remained to recall the bubbling of a thousand kettles.'   >> The sound of wind in the pines


  • Sir Philip Sidney's sonnet which concludes 'Alas, sweet brooks do in my tears augment: / Rocks, woods, hills, caves, dales, meads, brooks, answer me; / Infected minds infect each thing they see.'   >> The Morning Sea

c. 1595

  • One of William Sheldon's tapestry maps of Worcestershire includes a mysterious event in the hills near ‘The Worldesend'   >> The gardens at Stoke Edith
  • John Donne is composing his elegies at this time, including Elegy VI in which his inconstant lover is compared to a river that makes for itself a new course.   >> When I behold a stream...


  • A manuscript of the Chin P’ing Mei (The Plum in the Golden Vase), written by an unknown author, was in circulation by this year.  The novel features the building of song Dynasty Emperor Huizong's rock garden.   >> The Mountain of Stability


  • Alexander Hume's descriptive poem 'Of the Day Estivall', which featured in Arthur Quiller-Couch's 1919 Oxford Book of English Verse as 'A Summer Day'.  It may have been influenced by a youthful trip to France.   >> At Dieppe: Green and Grey 
  • Probable date for the View of Toledo by El Greco - in a later view of the city he incorporated a map.   >> View of Toledo

The Seventeenth Century


  • The marriage in Lyon of Marie de' Medici and Henry IV involved 'two oak trees seemingly made of snow with white leaves and silver garlands. Beneath their branches a hunt was in progress.' At a certain moment, 'from beneath the floor arose a table bearing dessert in the form of a winter landscape.'   >> Dessert in the form of a winter landscape
  • Paul Bril's self-portrait with a landscape painting (c1595-1600).  In Edward Norgate's Miniatura; or The Art of Limning, composed probably in the late 1620s, which mentions landscape painting, Bril is mentioned as 'a very rare Master in that Art'.   >> What soever delightfull view the Eye takes pleasure in


  • The first performance of William Shakespeare's King Lear, which contains a description of the view from a cliff that resembles a Renaissance painting.   >> Dover cliff


  • Adam Elsheimer may have used a telescope to paint The Flight Into Egypt, extraordinary for its realistic full moon and stars.   >> Aurora


  • 'The Description of Cooke-ham', the first country house poem to be published in English, by Aemiliar Lanyer.   >> The Description of Cooke-ham


  • Xu Xiake, Chinese traveller and diarist, visits the Tiantai Mountain in May and sees the place where the famous Tang Dynasty poet Hanshan and his companion Shide had lived in retreat.   >> Pure light flooding the rock walls


  • Salomon de Caus, engineer and chief designer of the lost Royal gardens at Richmond Palace, which may have included a vast river god sculpture, included a couple of illustrations of giants in his book Les raisons des forces mouvantes (1615).   >> The lost gardens of Richmond Palace
  • Jan Wildens paints the twelve months, possibly while he was living in Italy - they seem poised half way between north and south.  The museum in Genoa has May and also another painting, a collaboration with Cornelis de Wael, that uses exactly the same composition.   >> Everywhere they tossed grass and flowers


  • John Taylor, Thames boatman and self-styled water-poet, composes The Cold Tearme: Or the Frozen Age: Or the Metamorphosis of the River of Thames.   >> Weatherland




  • An ancient Roman landscape painting with a rocky arch is discovered in a nymphaeum near the Barberini palace, possibly leading to an increase in the use of this motif in seventeenth century landscape art.   >> Landscape with a Natural Arch and Waterfall

c. 1630

  • Peter Paul Rubens' Philemon and Baucis. According to Hazlitt, 'Rainbows, showers, partial gleams of sunshine, moonlight, are the means with which Rubens produces his most gorgeous and enchanting effects.'   >> Rainbows, showers, partial gleams of sunshine
  • Diego Velázquez, on one of only two visits he made outside Spain, paints two views of the Garden of the Villa Medici in Rome.  They are without obvious precedent in Western art.   >> View of the Garden of the Villa Medici


  • John Milton's poem describing 'the happy man', L'Allegro, which will later inspire artists like Turner, Blake and Cole.   >> Russet Lawns, and Fallows Gray


  • According to Werner Herzog 'nobody knows' the innovative landscape artist Hercules Segers.  Facts are scarce but it is known that in this year he moved to The Hague.   >> Mountainous Valley with Fenced Fields


  • Thomas Bushell shows the King his extraordinary grotto, with its elaborate water features including a silver ball that rose and fell on a jet of water and a sequence of fountains designed to surprise the ladies as they walked over them.   >> Entertained with a rainbow
  • Thomas Hobbes writes on the wonders of the Peak District, De Mirabilibus Pecci, comparing mountains to buttocks sticking out of the ground.   >> The Devil's Arse
  • An iconic early painting of Stockholm, the Vädersolstavlan by Jacob Heinrich Elbfas, after a lost original by Urban Målare.  It displays halo effects seen in the sky in 1535.   >> Nacreous cloud, Iceland
  • Peter Paul Rubens paints Rainbow Landscape.  In its distances, 'all the busyness of separate incidents is resolved: everything is unified and calm.'   >> Landscape near Malines
  • In Preziosenwand (Wall of Treasures), a painting by Frans Francken II, there are six miniature landscapes - paintings within a painting.   >> Wall of Treasures


  • Bohemian artist Wenceslaus Hollar, after travelling with the Earl of Arundel and making landscape views of Vienna, returns with him to England.  >> Entertained with a rainbow
  • Gaspard Dughet's Landscape with Hunters, one of the pleasures of any trip to Kenwood House.   >> Landscape with Hunters


  • 'Cooper's Hill', the first English topographical poem, by Sir John Denham, who lived nearby at Prunewell Hill with, in John Aubrey's words, 'a fine tuft of trees, a clear spring, and a pleasant prospect to the east.'  >> Entertained with a rainbow 
  • The first volume of engraver Matthäus Merian's Topographia Germaniae, on Switzerland.  The series would eventually cover a large part of central Europe.   >> Topographia Germaniae
  • John Evelyn, in Paris, records in his diary a walk in the gardens of the Tuilleries where he encounters an artificial echo.   >> Design for an artificial echo
  • Dutch artist Allaert van Everdingen visits the south-eastern coast of Norway and the area of western Sweden around Göteborg - his subsequent landscape paintings would influence Nordic art.   >> Scandinavian Landscape with a Waterfall
  • Jan Van Goyen's modest Polder Landscape. According to Simon Schama, 'everything that's kind of rough and raw and crude and clay-like and meagre about it actually makes you feel there.'   >> Picturing Paradise


  • John Aubrey seems to have been the first to notice the stones at Avebury this year and later showed them to Charles II.  Edward Thomas included a chapter on Aubrey, describing the stones, in his book The Literary Pilgrim in England (1917).   >> Turf rich and fragrant with thyme and burnet
  • Frans Post, a Dutch artist who had spent some time in Brazil, paints the landscape elements of a Biblical scene, the Sacrifice of Manoah, giving it a Brazilian setting, complete with armadillo and iguana.   >> View of Pernambuco, Brazil 


  • The cycle of the seasons is celebrated in The Angler’s Calendar, forty songs by the Korean sijo poet Yun Sondo.   >> Clear breeze and bright moon


  • An etching by Rembrandt van Rijn of the Flight into Egypt which he made by scraping away the figures of Tobias and the Angel and keeping the poetic landscape in an earlier plate that Hercules Segers had made.   >> Mountainous Valley with Fenced Fields


  • Henry Vaughan's poem 'The Waterfall'.  His poetry was inspired by the Welsh landscape he had experienced since childhood: the rivers, streams, waterfalls and the Langhorse Lake.   >> This loud brook’s incessant fall




  • Nicholas Poussin paints Blind Orion Searching for the Rising Sun.  It was later praised by William Hazlitt in his essay 'On a Landscape of Nicholas Poussin.'   >> Blind Orion Searching for the Rising Sun


  • Jacob van Ruisdael's The Great Forest (1655-60).  Peter Handke has written about this painting, and of Dutch landscapes generally, that 'their patches of water, their roads over dunes, their dark woods (under spacious skies), begin to grow as one beholds them'.   >> The Great Forest
  • John Fowles dismissed the landscape paintings of Meindert Hobbema (whose Marshy Woodland dates from c. 1660) as merely 'townscapes composed with trees instead of houses.'   >> The green chaos


  • Johannes Vermeer's View of Delft, a painting Proust's character, the writer Bergotte, adores and dies in front of.   >> View of Delft


  • Salvator Rosa, who often painted landscapes with hermits, is in the Appenines and writes a letter praising the rugged countryside and remarking on the desolate hermitages visible from the road.   >> Precipices, mountains, wolves, torrents, rumblings


  • Adam Pynacker's Landscape with Sportsmen and Game.  It is most remarkable these days for some extraordinary blue leaves in the foreground (an unintentionally surreal effect caused by chemical changes in the paint).   >> Even Over Eden
  • Approximate date for one of several landscapes showing the local bleaching grounds painted by Jacob van Ruisdael, where lengths of cloth cover the ground, like abstract collages, blank canvases or (at a stretch) Christo wraps.  >> View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds
  • Francesco Cozza paints Hagar and Ishmael in the WildernessThe trunks of the trees criss-cross the canvas in a way that recalls Poussin in his so-called ‘Silver Birch’ phase.   >> Dry and verdant branches



  • The first edition of Paradise Lost in which John Milton describes the landscape of the Garden of Eden.   >> Eden 


  • François-Michel le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois and minister of war to Louis XIV, begins the collection of three-dimensional 'plans-reliefs' - models of fortified cities for military purposes.   >> Plans-Reliefs


  • Wang Jian completes the first of his Landscapes in the Manner of Old Masters, twelve large scrolls in a row, each showing mountains and rivers in a different style but composed in a similar way.   >> Clouds and Mist in the Mountains


  • Athanasius Kircher publishes his topographical book on the landscape around Rome, Latium.   >> Mundus Subterraneus


  • Jan Vermeer's The Guitar Player - one of several interior scenes he did that include landscape paintings in the background (others are The Glass of Wine, The Love Letter and The Concert).   >> Wall of Treasures


  • Dutch artist Abraham Hondius paints a view of The Frozen Thames.  'His expansive sky, worthy of the Netherlands, is flushed with the apricot pinks of a winter sunset.'   >> Weatherland


  • 'One clear morning after a rainfall, sitting alone in his studio thinking of an absent friend' Wu Li paints the scroll Whiling Away the Summer.   >> Whiling Away the Summer



  • The mysterious term sharawadgy is used by Sir William Temple in his Gardens of Epicurus to refer to a quality of naturalness.  >> The Waterfall on Lu Mountain


  • Matsuo Basho and Kawai Sora set off on the Narrow Road to the Deep North, traveling into the past, to re-visit landscapes with long held poetic associations.   >> The Road North


  • Clouds and Mist in the Mountains is painted Fa Ruozhen c. 1690.  He is known now for cloud and mountain paintings in which the mist and rock are hard to distinguish.  >> Clouds and Mist in the Mountains


  • Matsuo Basho writes a hokku on the grebes of Lake Biwa that expands in the eye of the beholder, creating a tension between the object referred to and the implied landscape.   >> The grebes of Lake Biwa


  • Fish and rocks, a painting by Bada Shanren - 'were it not for seven tiny fish that swim beneath the two rock forms, transforming the blank paper into a body of water, the image would be unrecognisable.'   >> Sea of Ink


  • Bada Shanren's Flowers on the River, a painting of lotus flowers so long, 14 metres, that following it feels like walking by a real riverbank.   >> Clouds and Mist in the Mountains

The Eighteenth Century


  • 'A little Learning is a dang'rous Thing; / Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring...'  Alexander Pope goes on to use an extended landscape metaphor for the challenges of reading in his Essay on Criticism.   >> Alps on Alps arise!


  • Publication of a poem on the landscape at night by Anne Finch, Countess of Winchelsea, ‘A Nocturnal Reverie'.   >> A Nocturnal Reverie


  • Acis and Galatea is first performed in the summer at James Brydges' house Cannons - local tradition has it that the event took place on the terraces overlooking the garden. The music was by George Frideric Handel, the libreto by John Gay.   >> Like a crystal flood


  • John Dyer's poem Grongar Hill - Dyer trained as a watercolourist under Jonathan Richardson.   >> Grongar Hill


  • Publication of James Thomson's The Seasons, a poem that has been both influential and the subject of much criticism.  Although there are good lines there is 'want of method', in Dr Johnson's judgement.   >> Brightening fields of ether fair-disclos'd


  • Alexander Pope's poem 'Epistle to Burlington' describes Chiswick House Gardens (where in 1966 The Beatles would film a video of 'Paperback Writer').   >> Chiswick House Garden


  • Jonathan Tyers, the owner of Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, buys his own private estate at Denbies in Surrey.  There he named an 8-acre woodland 'Il Penseroso' after Milton's poem and designed a Valley of the Shadow of Death.  >> The Valley of the Shadow of Death


  • Michele Marieschi paints The Rialto Bridge from the Riva del Vin.  He was one of three prominent Venetian artists who began as scene painters - the others were Antonio Joli and Canaletto.   >> The Rialto Bridge from the Riva del Vin



  • The young Horace Walpole and Thomas Gray are travelling through the picturesque scenery in the Alps.  Walpole's dog is eaten by a wolf.  >> A Prospect of Vapourland


  • George Frideric Handel premieres a composition based on Milton's poetry with landscape imagery: L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato.   >> Russet Lawns, and Fallows Gray


  • The landscape gardens at Stourhead were designed by Henry Hoare II and laid out between 1741 and 1780.   >> Stourhead


  • The poet-painter Buson, famous for his objective style and visual imagination, writes his haiku on a willow tree.   >> Fallen willow leaves


  • Fang Bao writes a brief account of a visit to Geese Pond Mountain (Yangdangshan), still then relatively inaccessible, emphasising his relief on finding that it retained some of its original beauty.   >> Geese Pond Mountain


  • The Qianlong Emperor of China paints a hanging scroll showing Mount Pan which will be continually added to in the form of poetic inscriptions.   >> Mount Pan


  • John Constable would later admire the early paintings of Thomas Gainsborough, like his exquisite Landscape with Pool (1745-6) which he would have seen in Ipswich.   >> Watermeadows at Salisbury


  • The young Paul Sandby is employed by the Board of Ordnance in Scotland where he painted the activity of the surveying party and made some panoramic views of the landscape, such as Ben Lomond, View near Dumbarton.   >> Ben Lomond, View near Dumbarton


  • Xu Yang's Prosperous Suzhou, a long scroll so detailed it seems to contain a whole world, from the morning light on Lingyan Hill past wharves and workshops, streets and shops, to the evening mist over the outskirts of the city.   >> Clouds and Mist in the Mountains
  • A Prospect of Vapourland - a dream landscape in which a distant hill takes on the form of a lion and a nearby tree is full of snakes, painted by Horace Walpole's friend Richard Bentley, who helped design the Gothick rooms of Strawberry Hill.   >> A Prospect of Vapourland


  • There is a wonderful description of landscape design in Cao Xueqin's Hong Lou Meng ('Dream of the Red Chamber', also translated as The Story of the Stone), written about 1760.  >> Grand View Garden


  • Horace Walpole watches The Pagoda at Kew Gardens, designed by Sir William Chambers, under construction and wrote 'we begin to perceive the tower of Kew from Montpelier Road; in a fortnight you will be able to see it in Yorkshire.'   >> The tower of Kew


  • 'On the Great Fog in London, December 1762', a poem by James Eyre Weeks, describes the transfiguration of the city brought about by the 'black curtain drawn across the sky'.   >> On the Great Fog in London


  • William Shenstone's 'Unconnected Thoughts on Gardening', the inspiration for Ian Hamilton Finlay's Detatched Sentences on Gardening.  >> Concerning scenes


  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau spends two months on the Island of Saint-Pierre. 'In listening to the flux and reflux of the waves, he tells us, he became completely at one with nature' - Kenneth Clark.    >> On the Island of Saint-Pierre
  • Hadrian's Villa, painted about this year by Richard Wilson, shows peasants hanging out their washing amid the ruins of ancient Rome.   >> Ruin lust


  • A strange-looking view of Derwent Water in the Lake District by Thomas Smith shows the influence of chinoiserie.   >> A View of Darwentwater &c


  • Bernardo Bellotto's View of Warsaw from Praga.  He was the nephew of Canaletto and left Venice in 1747.   >> View of Warsaw from Praga
  • The first significant poem in Lithuanian Metai ('The Seasons') was composed by Kristijonas Donelaitis around 1765–1775.  It would be published posthumously in Königsberg in 1818, with a dedication to Wilhelm von Humboldt.   >> Earth, besmirched, is churned and shattered into chunks


  • The Green Frog Service is made by Josiah Wedgwood's company for the Empres Catherine the Great.  It had 1,244 views of England.  >> 1,244 real Views of Great-Britain


  • One of Paul Sandby's innovations was the introduction of aquatint print-making, especially good for lighting effects, as can be seen for example in Chepstow Castle in Monmouthshire (1775), one of his XII Views in South Wales.   >> Ben Lomond, View near Dumbarton


  • On February 12th Gilbert White writes about echoes in A Natural History of Selborne, suggesting that 'any gentleman of fortune' could create the conditions for listening to echoes in his park by erecting an appropriate structure.   >> One particular spot in the King's-field


  • Louis Carrogis (known by the name of Carmontelle) writes a commentary on the garden he had designed Jardin Monceau près de Paris.  Among other things Carmontelle also made landscape-themed rouleaux transparents, a distant ancestor of the television.   >> The Jardin Monceau


  • A Ruin on the Road to the Ponte Nomentana by Francis Towne.  He is painting in Rome while Edward Gibbon is engaged in writing The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.  'Their visions of Rome are remarkably similar.'   >> A Ruin on the Road
  • In September Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wrote 'The Wanderer's Night Song I' on the wall of a mountain hut in Ilmenau.   >> The Wanderer's Night Song


  • On June 2nd, according to the Memoirs of Thomas Jones, he and Frances Towne encounter banditti while out sketching near Naples.   >> Land of Darkness 


  • A Wall in Naples painted by Thomas Jones - according to Lawrence Gowing it is 'one of the great microcosms of painting'.   >> A Wall in Naples


  • George Crabbe's poem ‘The Village’ includes a description of sandy flora.  >> Sandy Flora



  • The first aerial drawings ever made from a balloon basket - engravings accompanying Airopaidia by Thomas Baldwin, an account of a flight he made from Chester to Warrington.   >> A chromatic view of the Earth
  • Alexander Cozens suggests the use of random blots in A New Method of Assisting the Invention in Drawing Original Compositions of Landscape.   >> Before Storm
  • Thomas Gainsborough rubs a tightly rolled stump of leather or paper over the surface of Wooded Upland Landscape with Cottage, Figures and Cows (c. 1785) to produce various effects.   >> The Ruins of Hohenbaden


  • Elter Water, a lakeland sketch, illustrates Francis Towne’s procedure in five stages: write – draw – paint – draw – write.   >> Elter Water


  • After two years' work, Giovanni Battista Lusieri completes The Bay of Naples from Palazzo Sessa, 'one of the most spectacular exhibitions of the art of watercolour ever created'.   >> The Bay of Naples from Palazzo Sessa
  • Joseph Wright of Derby starts painting Antigonus in the Storm in which he imagines the rocky beach where Antigonus was pursued and met his grisly end, 'torn to pieces with a bear' in A Winter's Tale.   >> The Coast of Bohemia 


  • Joseph Wright of Derby confesses in a letter: ‘I know not how it is, tho’ I am engaged in portraits and made a dead colour of a half length yesterday, I find myself continually stealing off and getting to Landscapes.’   >> Matlock Tor by Moonlight
  • 'The Pleasures of Memory', a long poem that brings Samuel Rogers literary celebrity.  He would later work with J. M. W. Turner, who would illustrate the long poem Italy that Rogers based on his travels in the country.   >> Tusculan's romantic groves


  • Political circumstances prompt composer, poet, calligrapher and painter Uragami Gyokudō to resign his post and devote himself entirely to the arts.  He seems to have had no regrets.  In 'Shutting My Gate, I Play the Ch'in' he writes of having left his concerns behind.   >> Tall Mountains and Flowing Waters


  • Thomas Girtin travels in the north of England and sketches the interior of Lindisfarne priory.  A year later his friend J. M. W. Turner would visit and draw the same ruins.   >> Holy Island
  • 'Ruiniste' painter' Hubert Robert's Imaginary View of the Grand Gallery of the Louvre in Ruins - the interest in ruins continues today in the work of artists like Cyprien Gaillard.   >> Pruitt-Igoe Falls


  • J.M.W. Turner's early watercolour View of Sheffield from Derbyshire Lane - the growing city could still almost be a rural village, dominated by its church.   >> Picturing Sheffield
  • James Plumptre's comic opera The Lakers.  In one scene Miss Veronica Beccabunga looks through her 'Claude Lorraine Glasses' at the landscape between Derwent Water and Borrowdale.  'The effect is unspeakably interesting.'   >> How gloomily glaring!


  • On July 13th, on a walking tour of the Wye, William Wordsworth writes his Lines Written A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey.   >> Tintern Abbey
  • The first of many paintings of rainbows and their effects exhibited by J. M. W. Turner, Buttermere Lake, Cumberland   >> Buttermere Lake, a shower

The Nineteenth Century


  • Thomas Girtin's beautiful watercolour The White House at Chelsea. The terrain of the paper underneath becomes visible at close range, in raking light.   >> Strange ridges and shadowy craters
  • Approximate date for William Blake's pale, unfinished sketch with a hint of Turner about it: Landscape near Felpham.   >> Landscape near Felpham


  • In September Samuel Taylor Coleridge sees the spring that will inspire his poem 'Inscription for a Fountain on a Heath'.   >> Fountain on a heath
  • Philip James de Loutherbourg paints Coalbrookdale by Night, a famous image of the industrial Sublime.   >> Coalbrookdale by Night
  • German artist Carl Wilhelm Kolbe was known for his Kräuterblätter (cabbage-sheets) - scenes featuring over-sized plant life, like his 1801 version of Et in Arcadia Ego.   >> Kräuterblätter


  • Early in the morning on July 31st, William Wordsworth admires the city from Westminster Bridge, a view that he would make the subject of his famous sonnet.   >> Earth has not anything to shew more fair
  • The myriorama, a pack of cards depicting slices of landscape which can be rearranged to create different panoramic views, is invented by Jean-Pierre Brés.   >> Many thousand views


  • In the third eclogue of Gotthard Ludwig Kosegarten''s verse epic Jucunde (1803) a village pastor preaches to his flock 'in the greening valley by the coast', accompanied only by the 'trumpets of the sea and the many-voiced pipe organ of the storm.'   >> Arkona glows in the gleam of the deep-sunken sun
  • Friedrich Hölderlin’s short poem 'The Nook of Hardt', beautiful according to Adorno because of the landscape's history.  >> The Nook at Hardt
  • Dorothy Wordsworth, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge visit the falls of Cora Linn on their Scottish tour.  Dorothy writes the first part of her Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland, soon after arriving back in Cumbria.   >> The falls of Cora Linn, Windings of the River Tummel
  • Luke Howard publishes his seminal essay 'On the Modifications of Clouds' which would influence Shelley, Ruskin and John Constable's cloud studies.   >> Atmosphere


  • Publication of Étienne Pivert de Senancour's Rousseauesque epistolary novel Oberman.  'Letter XXX' begins with the melancholy hero, on seeing a jonquil in bloom, apprehending for a moment 'all the happiness destined for man'.   >> Here in the immortal empire of the grasses


  • John Sell Cotman stays at Rokeby Hall in Yorkshire, discovers the landscape around Greta Bridge and paints some of the most celebrated watercolours in the history of art.   >> Greta Bridge
  • In Greece, Edward Dodwell paints the remains of a sculpture in a landscape: Lion near Hymettos, looking north towards Mount Pentele.   >> A lion near Hymettos



  • Charlotte Smith's posthumously published poem ‘Studies by the Sea’.   >> Studies by the Sea


  • Alexander von Humboldt publishes Views of Nature. It would be immensely influential, inspiring Goethe, Chateaubriand, Darwin, Thoreau, Emerson and Jules Verne.   >> Naturgemälde
  • In Caspar David Friedrich's Moonlit Landscape the moon is a circular hole was left so that a blank piece of paper behind shines through.  It was designed to be illuminated by lamplight and viewed to the accompaniment of music.   >> The Ruins of Hohenbaden
  • John Sell Cotman, renowned for his landscape watercolours, paints two unusual oil paintings.   >> View from Yarmouth Bridge


  • Shen Fu's memoir, Six Records of a Floating Life describes his marriage to Yün, including a description of creating together a miniature landscape.   >> Where flowers drop and waters flow
  • J. M. W. Turner paints a tribute to the poet of The Seasons, Thomson's Aeolian Harp, showing an ideal memorial in which a harp placed on his tomb which could respond to the cycle of the seasons.  >> Brightening fields of ether fair-disclos'd


  • J. M. W. Turner also wrote poetry.  The Fall of an Avalanche in the Grisons, exhibited this year, was accompanied by his own verse.   >> Avalanche in the Grisons
  • Caspar David Friedrich exhibits The Monk by the Sea, at the Berlin Royal Academy of Art, prompting articles by  Clemens Brentano and Heinrich von Kleist.   >> The Monk by the Sea
  • The Vitenamese poet Hồ Xuân Hương was active at this time, although few details of her life are known.  Her poems fuse landscape and erotic imagery.  >> Three-Mountain Pass


  • J. M. W. Turner delivers a lecture called 'Backgrounds, Introduction of Architecture and Landscape' in February.  In it he regrets the fact that Zuccarelli's 'meretricious' paintings 'defrauded the immortal Wilson of his right and snatched the laurel from his aged brow.'   >> Tusculan's romantic groves
  • Jane Austen discusses Picturesque taste in Sense and Sensibility.  According to her brother's memoir, she was "at a very early age enamoured of Gilpin on the Picturesque; and she seldom changed her opinions either on books or men."  >> >I like a fine prospect, but not on picturesque principles


  • William Daniell's A Voyage Round the Coast of Great Britain is published out in eight volumes between 1814 and 1825, contained 308 hand-coloured aquatints and costing one and a half times what a fisherman or sailor aboard a merchant ship could expect to earn in a year at the time.   >> A Voyage Round the Coast of Great Britain 
  • 'The seat of the Celtic Muse is in the mist of the secret and solitary hill, and her voice in the murmur of the mountain stream', according to a character in Walter Scott's first novel Waverley, which promotes the landscape of the Highlands.   >> In the mist of the secret and solitary hill 
  • Thomas Robert Guest's Bronze Age Grave Goods from a Bell Barrow Excavated at Winterslow, Wiltshire places the finds in a realistic landscape, creating a composition with something in common with later surreal landscapes of Paul Nash.   >> Ideas for Sculpture in a Setting
  • Marquand Fidelis Wocher completes his panorama of Thun.  It is the oldest surviving panorama in the world.   >> The Panorama of Thun


  • Percy Bysshe Shelley was, according to Peter Ackroyd, a poet haunted by the Thames.  This year he took a journey up the river in a wherry with Thomas Love Peacock (already the author of a poem on The Genius of the Thames).   >> Thames: Sacred River


  • It 'rained in Switzerland on 130 out of the 183 days from April to September 1816'. It was during that gloomy summer that Lord Byron composed his poem ‘Darkness’ on the shores of Lake Geneva.   >> The bright sun was extinguish'd


  • Jane Austen revises her novel Northanger Abbey, but dies before it can be published.  Its heroine Catherine is given a lecture on the Picturesque taste in landscape.   >> From the top of Beechen Cliff
  • John Constable completes Flatford Mill (Scene on a Navigable River), one of the paintings depicting what is now called 'Constable Country'.   >> Barges at Flatford Lock
  • John Martin paints The Bard.  His Sublime landscapes were later described as "huge, queer and tawdry" by William Makepeace Thackeray.   >> Apocalypse


  • John Keats writes from The Lakes, "I shall learn poetry here."  He visits the island of Staffa and writes a poem in a letter to his brother which describes the overwhelming power of the natural music to be heard at Fingal's Cave.   >> The stationary blasts of waterfalls, The Hebrides Overture


  • Robert Southey's Journal of a Tour in Scotland in 1819 criticises the conversion of the Marquess of Stafford's estate's into extensive sheep-farms: 'a quiet, thoughtful, contented, religious people' forcefully transplanted from the glens to the sea coast.   >> A Voyage Round the Coast of Great Britain 
  • John Keats writes his Ode to a Nightingale with its description of woods at night, and 'Ode to Autumn’ which may celebrates the end of the failed harvests caused by the eruption of Tambora.   >> Verdurous glooms, The bright sun was extinguish'd
  • John Crome's The Porlingland Oak (c. 1818-20), one of the landscape paintings artist Simon Pope set himself the task of recalling and describing.   >> The Porlingland Oak


  • Robert Southey's 'The Cataract of Lodore', a landscape sound poem written for his children.   >> The Cataract of Lodore
  • Stratford Mill, one of the 'six footers' for which John Constable made full-size sketches.   >> Stratford Mill
  • William Wordsworth published The River Duddon, A Series of Sonnets.  Reviewers were bemused that a famous poet should choose to write about this ‘insignificant river’ with a ‘barbarous name’.   >> The River Duddon
  • Anthony Philip Heinrich, after studying music whilst living in a log cabin in the woods publishes a collection of songs and pieces for violin and piano, The Dawning of Music in Kentucky or the Pleasures of Harmony in the Solitude of Nature.   >> The Dawning of Music in Kentucky
  • William Hazlitt's essay 'On a Landscape of Nicholas Poussin'.   'Mists rise around him, and veil the sides of the green forests; earth is dank and fresh with dews, the 'gray dawn and the Pleiades before him dance,' and in the distance are seen the blue hills and sullen ocean...'   >> Blind Orion Searching for the Rising Sun
  • In a letter John Constable writes of "The sound of water escaping from Mill dams... Willows, Old rotten Banks, slimy posts, & brickwork. I love such things... As long as I do paint I shall never cease to paint such Places......"  >> The sound of water escaping from Mill dams
  • A mechanical landscape painting which actually incorporates a clock mechanism, made in Gothenburg and signed 'J. G. Pettersson', showing the Dannemora iron ore mine.   >> The open pit at Dannemora mine


  • Joseph Anton Koch paints a view of The Schmadribach Falls, based on an earlier sketch (once owned by art critic Brian Sewell). It would influence other artists like Adrian Ludwich Richter.   >> The Schmadribach Falls


  • Samuel Palmer's early sketch God Creating the Sun and Moon, indicative of his work's “sun-and-moonism”.   >> The sun and moon
  • John Constable is a huge success at the Paris salon.  He spends some time in Brighton and the sketches he does there will be the basis for a full scale painting of the chain pier completed in 1827.   >> Chain Pier, Brighton
  • Dresden landscape painter Adrian Ludwig Richter writes about Caspar David Friedrich in his dairy - ''... it seems to me that Friedrich's method of conception leads in a false direction..."  >> A morbid melancholy


  • The Oxford Sepia series of engravings by Samuel Palmer showing idealised rural scenes and mysterious atmospheric light effects, accompanied by verses.   >> Early morning


  • Publication of 'The Harz Journey', Heinrich Heine's anti-Romantic account of a walking tour he took in 1824 during his first year of legal studies at Göttingen University.   >> Wafting winds of dusky night
  • In Joseph von Eichendorff's 'Life of a Good-for-Nothing', its guileless hero makes his way to Italy and visits a Rome that never existed outside the northern imagination.   >> Rome must be like the clouds
  • Thomas Cole paints the Falls of the Kaaterskill - he saw in waterfalls “fixedness and motion – a single existence in which we perceive unceasing change and everlasting duration.”   >> The stationary blasts of waterfalls


  • Winterreise (Winter Journey), a song cycle for voice and piano by Franz Schubert based on the poems by Wilhelm Müller.   >> Winter Journey
  • Alessandro Manzoni begins his novel The Betrothed with a landscape description, an opening analysed by Umberto Eco in Six Walks in the Fictional Woods.   >> The lake of Como
  • On a return to his native Norway, Johan Christian Dahl paints The Lower Falls of the Labrofoss.  This location is now the site of a hydroelectric power station.   >> The Lower Falls of the Labrofoss


  • In Oak Tree and Beech, Lullingstone Park Samuel Palmer produces an extraordinary fiery evening light in the depths of the trees with 'yellow watercolour over white gouache, to which he applied gum arabic, imparting shine, and occasional dots of red watercolour.'   >> The Ruins of Hohenbaden
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge travels through Germany and Holland with William Wordsworth: a fragment he wrote on windmills resembles an imagist poem.   >> Water and windmills
  • Caspar David Friedrich's Trees and Bushes in the Snow.  The painting is the subject of 'Romanticizing the World', the first part of Caspar David Friedrich and the Subject of Landscape by Joseph Leo Koerner (1990).   >> Hill and Ploughed Field near Dresden


  • Felix Mendelssohn visits the island of Staffa and is inspired to write the Hebrides Overture (completed in 1830).   >> The Hebrides Overture
  • Alexander Pushkin makes his journey to Azram. His travel account likens streams, 'falling from the heights of the mountains in thin spurts of spray' to Rembrandt's The Abduction of Ganymede.   >> Streams, falling from the heights


  • Carl Gustav Carus publishes his Nine Letters on Landscape Painting in 1830, prefaced by a letter from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.   >> Earth-life painting
  • Alfred Tennyson's early poem 'Ode to Memory' published, containing lines that fix a scene "characteristic of the Lincolnshire Marshland, in a few perfect words."   >> The trenchéd waters run from sky to sky
  • Joseph Gandy's cut away perspective drawing of the newly-built Bank of England as a future ruin.   >> Study of sunlight



  • Peder Balke travels by ship to the North Cape, a rugged and largely inaccessible area of the Norway. There he found bleak and original motifs which helped him develop a highly individual painting style.   >> Landscape from Finnmark
  • John Constable is still learning from the old masters.  He paints A winter landscape with figures on a path, a footbridge and windmills beyond, 'Copied from the Original Picture by Ruisdael in the possession of Sir Robt Peel Bt', but with a dog added in.   >> Watermeadows at Salisbury
  • In a famous incident at the Royal Academy, J. M. W. Turner paints a small red buoy in the middle of his seascape, Helvoetsluys, which was being overshadowed by a Constable painting, and leaves without saying a word.   >> Helvoetsluys


  • The North Gate of the Citadel by Christen Købke.  Many of his paintings depict the Citadel - the kind of unusual, politically charged landscape that would draw the interest of contemporary artists.   >> The North Gate of the Citadel


  • Katsushika Hokusai includes a print of the Tatsuta River in Autumn in his series One Hundred Poems.  According to legend he dipped the feet of a chicken in red paint and chased it across the scroll, making the bird's red footprints his maple leaves.   >> The Tatsuta River in Autumn
  • Danish painter Christen Købke paints one of his melancholy landscapes in autumnal colours, Frederiksborg Palace in the light of evening.   >> Autumn Morning on Lake Sortedam


  • Utagawa Kuniyoshi's print Nichiren going into exile on the island of Sado shows the great Buddhist monk Nichiren arriving on the snowy island in 1271.    >> The Golden Island
  • Lenz, Georg Büchner's account of the descent into madness of a young Sturm und Drang playwright.  It includes a description of his journey over the Vosges.   >> And all the peaks shone


  • Adalbert Stifter's painting The King Lake and the Watzmann - at this time his main energies were focused on landscape painting, prior to the publication of his first story Der Condor in 1840.   >> The King Lake and the Watzmann
  • German painter Johann Moritz Rugendas suffers a disfiguring accident while sketching in Argentina, the subject of César Aira’s novella, An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter.   >> The Road from Orizaba to Acultzingo
  • The best-known French elegy on the theme of changing landscape, Victor Hugo's 'Tristesse d'Olympio', about a gatekeeper's cottage near Bièvres.   >> D'autres auront nos champs
  • A Voice from a Picture by 'A Female Artist' is privately printed. A review three years later revealed that the author was Harriet Gouldsmith Arnold. It is a biography of a landscape painting.   >> Deep mellow shades breaking upon the view


  • An ascent made by the leading Victorian balloonist Charles Green, accompanied by Irish musician Monck Mason, who wrote the trip up as Aeronautica.   Edgar Allan Poe's story 'The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall' appeared the year before; Green and Monck would feature in his newspaper hoax 'The Atlantic Balloon' in 1844.   >> Falling Upwards
  • A View near Volterra by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - according to poet James Merrill this shows the moment the artist entered the woods to discover his mature style.    >> A View near Volterra
  • Mikhail Lermontov's vinal version of the 'Demon', a poem he had worked on since he was a teenager.  In it he describes the dramatic landscape of the Caucasus - the River Terek likened to a roaring lioness, heard by all the mountains beasts and 'eagles in the azure heights.'   >> Streams, falling from the heights
  • J. M. W. Turner is in Venice painting watercolours, including Venice, looking across the lagoon at sunset with its Hodgkin like combination of see green lagoon, misty orange sky and a solitary band of purple cloud.   >> Venice, looking across the lagoon at sunset
  • In his novel Dead Souls Gogol writes a word-painting of Plyushkin's garden.  Nabokov would later write that Gogol's description shocked Russian readers 'in much the same way as Manet did the bewhiskered philistines of his day.'   >> Plyushkin's garden
  • John Ruskin paints the Falls of Schaffhausen, subject of a wonderful prose description in Modern Painters.   >> The Fall of Schaffhausen
  • Johan Christian Dahl's vast and detailed View from Stalheim over Naerodalen, parts of which are like a hyperreal Chinese mountain landscape.   >> Mountains of the Mind


  • Thomas Cole paints River in the Catskills which includes a train (pre-dating Turner's famous Rain, Steam and Speed by a year.   >> River in the Catskills



  • Rock Crystal, a novella by Adalbert Stifter.  When Hannah Arendt reviewed a 1945 edition, she described Stifter as "the greatest landscape painter in literature."   >> The King Lake and the Watzmann


  • Edgar Allan Poe's short story about the creation of an artificial landscape 'The Domain of Arnheim'.   >> The Domain of Arnheim
  • Charlotte Brontë, who wrote a poem about Thomas Bewick when he died in 1828, has her heroine Jane Eyre read his History of British Birds and imagine the cold landscapes they traevl too.    >> Death-white realms
  • A series of bonkei minaiture andscapes are created by Kimura Tōsen inspired by Utagawa Hiroshige's prints of The Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō. These would in turn be memorialised in a sequence of prints.   >> Potted landscapes on the Tōkaidō


  • A rock harmonicon, built by the Richardson family, is played in front of Queen Victoria - she was apparently so impressed she requested two further performances.   >> Sonorous stones


  • A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers by Henry David Thoreau includes landscape descriptions, including high view over an ocean of mist.   >> An undulating country of clouds
  • John Ruskin spends summer in the Alps, paints the Matterhorn and makes observations that will inform Volume Four of Modern Painters, on 'Mountain Beauty'.   >> Currents of air
  • In Septmeber, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt travel through France and Belgium.  Rossetti writes poems reflecting on the new experience of experiencing the landscape at speed from a train.   >> Trees that in moving keep their intervals
  • Gustave Corbet's The Stonebreakers - an example according to John Berger of the way the environment of the Jura that he grew up in influenced his compositions.  There is little visible sky.  'Due to its folds, the landscape is tall; the sky is a long way off.'   >> Rocks at Mouthier
  • The young Gustave Flaubert travels in Egypt with photographer Maxime du Camp.   >> Rive Oriental du Nil


  • Most likely date for the composition of Matthew Arnold's pessimistic poem 'Dover Beach', published in 1864.   >> Dover Beach


  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens begins serialisation, opening with a famous description of London in the fog.   >> On the Great Fog in London


  • Adalbert Stifter publishes Colourful Stones, an anthology of six novellas in which landscape features prominently.   >> Limestone
  • Barbizon School painter Théodore Rousseau 'appealed to Napoleon III to halt the wholesale destruction of the forest’s trees, and in 1853 the emperor established a preserve to protect the artists’ cherished giant oaks'.   >> The Gardens of Fontainebleau


  • Publication of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. "The scenery of Walden is on a humble scale, and, though very beautiful, does not approach to grandeur."   >> Walden Pond
  • “Oh sea! your voice is tremendous, but it will never succeed in drowning out the voice of fame as it shouts my name to the whole world!” Gustave Courbet paints The Artist on the Seashore at Palavas.   >> The Artist on the Seashore at Palavas
  • Gerard de Nerval’s perfect novella ‘Sylvie’ evokes the mists of the Valois.  >> Valois mists
  • The United States Coast Survey employs the young James Abbott McNeill Whistler as a draftsman on $1.50 a day for two months in the winter of 1854-5 and there he learns the art of engraving.   >> Sketch of Anacapa Island
  • The African-American landscape painter Robert S. Duncanson collaborates with James Presley Ball on an anti-slavery panoramic painting, Mammoth Pictorial Tour of the United States Comprising Views of the African Slave Trade.  >> Ellen's Isle, Loch Katrine


  • Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South includes a scene where Margaret Hale is out sketching with an admirer, the lawyer Henry Lennox, who surreptitiously introduces figures into his picturesque landscape.   >> Stony ground and trees, with a pool
  • Crimean War photographer Roger Fenton depicts empty landscapes like Valley of the Shadow of Death.   >> Wharfe and pool
  • The Book of English Rivers by Samuel Lewis contains brief descriptions of all the main rivers, noting down points of topographical interest: notable views, snippets of local history and literary associations.   >> Severn's ambient wave



  • Publication of Les Fleurs Du Mal.  'Paysage' is one of the poems Charles Baudelaire included in the section entitled Tableaux Parisiens.  >> The yellow blossoms of autumn


  • Edward Lear is painting watercolours in Petra - 'annotated landscapes' with written notes on colours.   >> Petra, 13 April 1858


  • On the day Alexander von Humboldt dies in May, New Yorkers are queuing to see a painting he had inspired: The Heart of the Andes by Frederic Edwin Church.  Church had gone to South America and retraced Humboldt's route.   >> Naturgemälde
  • Charles Baudelaire has a section on landscape in his final Salon review, making clear that the naturalistic depiction of landscape still needs to convey the artist’s feeling and provide a satisfying composition.    >> Le Paysage historique


  • Theodor Fontane writes to his friend Theodor Storm about the topographical study of Mark Brandenburg he has just remarked on, suggesting it might run to twenty volumes; in the event it was published in five, between 1862 and 1889.   >> Wanderings through the Mark Brandenburg
  • The Man of Sorrows by painter William Dyce shows Christ alone in a Highland landscape.  He would have found it less like a wilderness if the landlords had not evicted its inhabitants.   >> Far in the wild His steps were driven
  • In The Mill on the Floss, George Eliot describes the landscape of childhood.  'There is no sense of ease like the ease we felt in those scenes where we were born.'   >> The Mill on the Floss
  • The photograph ‘A Vista, Furness Abbey’ by Roger Fenton  - three figures, backlit and semi-posed, create a Romantic atmosphere.   >> A Vista, Furness Abbey


  • Frederic Edwin Church's patriotic landscape painting, Our Banner in the Sky, subsequently widely distributed as a lithograph.  In it the North Star shines through a gap in the clouds and an eagle sours above the broken tree.   >> Our Banner in the Sky


  • Frederic Edwin Church paints Cotopaxi based on his journey to Ecuador.  Dennis Oppenheim would later exhibit Mt. Cotopaxi Transplant at Earthworks, the seminal land art exhibition.   >> Mt. Cotopaxi Transplant


  • Jules Verne publishes Journey to the Centre of the Earth - an anthropomorphization of the Earth and a mechanization of the human.   >> To Place: Verne's Journey
  • Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot’s The Shepherd Star, possibly inspired by lines by de Musset, of whom the artist recalled "Ah! Musset what a poet..."   >> Memory of Marcoussis


  • Walt Whitman wrote some very short poems which may have been an attempt at verbal paintings.  One of them from this year is, in effect, a three line landscape painting, 'A Farm Picture'.   >> A Farm Picture
  • Emily Dickinson compiled forty fascicles between 1858 and 1865 containing nearly eight hundred poems.  Some of their first lines read like condensed landscape poems and have been used in artworks by Roni Horn.   >> Frequently the woods are pink


  • Norwegian artist Lars Hertervig, recovering from a nervous breakdown, paints landscapes with strange cloud formations like The Tarn (1865) and Borgøya Island from this year.   >> The Tarn
  • Eadward Muybridge's photograph Rekootoyen (Water Asleep) Mirror Lake from the Western Bank, a subject in which the lake surface is so still that you can see the individual trees reflected on the distant mountains.  >> Water Asleep


  • Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace has few landscape descriptions but there is a word portrait of the city of Moscow at dawn.   >> First light, Moscow, 1812
  • Gustave Flaubert's Sentimental Education describes various landscapes: Nogent (dull and domesticated), Auteuil (pretty but with a touch of autumn melancholy), various views of The Seine and the Forest of Fontainebleau.   >> The Forest of Fontainebleau
  • At Étretat, a year after he helped rescue Algernon Charles Swinburne from the waves, and long before he was an established writer, the young Guy de Maupassant encounters Gustave Courbet and watches him at work in his studio, painting the sea.  >> Above the sea and sea-washed town
  • The Belvedere is constructed in Central Park, New York.  The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux and first opened in 1858.   >> Belvedere castle 


  • Peder Balke's small ghostly monochrome paintings Northern Lights over Coastal Landscape and Vardøhus Fortress, scenes he had witnessed on his journey to the far north of Norway in 1832.   >> The North Cape
  • In George Eliot's Middlemarch, Dorothea under the sway of dry old Casaubon, professes not to understand the art of landscape sketching...   >> Stony ground and trees, with a pool
  • Claude Monet comes to England in the autumn to escape the Franco-Prussian War.  The following year he would paint The Thames Below Westminster, a painting of the Houses of Parliament in the mist (subject of a recent poem by Ciaran Carson).   >> Earth has not anything to shew more fair
  • Ōtagaki Rengetsu's calligraphy and minimal ink painting, Autumn Moon.  She was also skilled in ceramics (Rengetsu ware), poetry, dance, sewing and the tea ceremony.  >> Autumn on Mount Oshio


  • Camille Pissarro, like Monet an exile from the Franco-Prussian war, paints suburban scenes in south London, such as Lordship Lane Station, Dulwich.   >> Lordship Lane Station, Dulwich
  • William Morris makes his journey to Iceland, inspired by the sagas - shortly after leaving Reykjavik he was already noting the locations of Njáls saga and towards the end of the trip he tried out the hot-spring bath beside the house of Snorri Sturluson.   >> An eagle, a mountain, a ship 


  • James Abbot McNeill Whistler’s Nocturne in Blue and Gold: Entrance to Southampton Water, which is very similar to a Hiroshige print, Night View of Kanazawa under the Full Moon.   >> Moons of the Iapetus Ocean
  • Mark Twain's Roughing It describes a trip to the Dead Sea.   >> The Dead Sea


  • Camille Pissarro paints Hoar Frost - in which 'the gently rising Île-de-France farmland ... becomes an intricate weaving of russets, blue-greens, umbers, and pale yellows as morning sun shines on it from behind a row of poplars' (Julian Bell).   >> Hoar Frost
  • English novelist Anthony Trollope visits the Pink and White Terraces of Lake Rotomahana in New Zealand, an extraordinary landscape that vanished after a volcanic eruption in 1886.   >> The Pink and White Terraces


  • Claude Monet's painting, The Studio-Boat, and Édouard Manet's painting of Monet on his floating studio.  Monet had got the boat in 1872, inspired by the example of Daubigny.   >> View on the Oise
  • Paul Verlaine’s ‘Dans l’interminable ennui de la plaine’, called simply ‘Landscape’ in a translation by C.F. Macintyre.   >> Vague snow descending
  • The writer George Sand mentions in a letter that she has taken up painting 'dendrites', landscapes whose textures resemble 'those stones which exhibit a faint pattern of branching, multicoloured veins.'   >> Collection of Sand
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow oversees a 31-volume anthology, arranged geographically and covering the whole world, called Poems of Places.   >> ’T is a most beauteous Strait


  • Gerard Manley Hopkins describes one moment of instress in his diary, visiting Denbigh Castle - 'standing before the gateway I had an instress which only the true old work gives'.   >> Denbigh castle ruins


  • Peder Balke's Gausta Peak.  From the 1860s Balke gave up trying to make his living as a painter and turned instead to real estate.  When he died in 1884 his art was forgotten.   >> Gausta Peak


  • Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native includes memorable descriptions Egdon Heath, the subject of a later composition by Holst.   >> Egdon Heath


  • Robert Louis Stevenson publishes his Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes, the account of a journey that would be retraced by later writers, including Richard Holmes.   >> No other tent but the sky
  • Paul Cézanne's The Bridge at Maincy, in which the vividness of the foliage is matched by the solid structure of bridge and trees.   >> The Bridge at Maincy


  • In June, at Passievaart, Vincent van Gogh draws A Marsh, combining experiments in mark making with a composition that conveys the misty poetry of the landscape.   >> Passievaart, a huge marsh
  • A year after his death, the publication of Gustave Flaubert's Bouvard and Pécuchet, which includes a satirical account of landscape gardening.   >> The garden of Bouvard and Pécuchet
  • One of the last great panoramas by a serious artist, Hendrik Willem Mesdag's Panorama of Scheveningen, which can still be viewed in The Hague.   >> Panorama of Scheveningen
  • 'Had LS Lowry set out to forge a late Utrillo, he could not have matched the sheer nastiness of Pierre Auguste Renoir's Piazza San Marco, Venice' - vintage Brian Sewell!   >> Piazza San Marco, Venice
  • John Everett Millais paints Dew-Drenched Furze - the title is from In Memoriam, where Tennyson wrote ‘Calm and deep peace on this high wold, / And on the dews that drench the furze, / And all the silvery gossamers / That twinkle into green and gold...’   >> Dew-Drenched Furze


  • The Green Ray, a novel by Jules Verne, concerning the atmospheric phenomenon that was later the subject of Eric Rohmer's beautiful 1986 film, in which a character mentions this book.   >> The Green Ray 
  • Paul Cézanne's painting View of Auvers-sur-Oise - it can no longer be seen because it was stolen from the Ashmolean Museum on millennium night.   >> View of Auvers-sur-Oise


  • Nature Near London, a collection of essays by nature writer Richard Jefferies.  He can be read as a philosopher of vision: 'Even trees which have some semblance of balance in form are not really so, and as you walk round them so their outline changes.'   >> Landmarks
  • 'From my dining-room, I am happy in the view of the lower reach of Coniston Water, not because it is particularly beautiful, but because it is entirely pastoral and pure' - John Ruskin, in a new preface to Modern Painters, writing about Brantwood, his main home since 1872.   >> Coniston Water
  • Clement Scott begins to write ecstatic columns about Poppy-land, starting a fad that brought thousands of visitors to the little railway villages on what the Great Eastern Railway rapidly renamed 'The Poppy Line'.   >> Poppy-land
  • The letters of Vincent Van Gogh include landscape description, for example a word painting of Zweeloo in a letter of 2 November 1883.   >> The village of Zweeloo


  • Claude Monet draws several pastel landscapes of the rocks at Etretat which have a Symbolist feel to them.   At one point while out painting he is thrown against the cliff by a wave.  >> The Cliffs at Étretat, Agitated Sea at Etretat


  • Carnival Evening is Henri Rousseau’s first painting for the Société des Indépendants exhibition. Far from being obviously ‘primitive’ it is an intriguing Symbolist landscape.   >> Promenade in the Forest


  • Paul Cézanne painting Mont Sainte-Victoire, his great motif.  He said 'Our art must render the thrill of her permanence along with her elements, the appearance of all her changes.'   >> Mont Sainte-Victoire
  • Swiss artist Robert Zünd paints Buchenwald, one of the views that led to him becoming known as The Master of the Beech Leaf.   >> Bellevue
  • Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted's plan for the Back Bay Fens was possibly the first attempt to construct a wetland, perhaps influenced by the paintings of Martin Johnson Heade.  >> The Back Bay Fens
  • The opening of Hull's East Park.  'There are few sights in England that can quite equal the absurd charm of the imitation Khyber Pass.'   >> The Khyber Pass in Hull


  • Theodor Storm's last completed work The Rider on the White Horse is published.  Its story, based on the legend of a horse and rider that appears when storms threaten the dikes, is about the reimagining and reshaping of the environment.   >> Face to face with sheer mountains of water


  • 'Glasgow Boy' George Henry paints A Galloway Landscape - a reviewer described it as 'utterly destitute alike of perspective, atmosphere, and poetry, three very serious defects, as we take it, in a landscape picture.'   >> A Galloway Landscape
  • A strange work of land art avant la lettre is created in August Strindberg's extraordinary novel By the Open Sea.   >> By the Open Sea
  • Claude Monet is painting the Creuse river and writing to his future wife Alice from Fresselines about the "damnable" spring weather - "It will be a gloomy series."   >> Agitated Sea at Etretat


  • Dew-Drenched Furze, one of twenty-one large-scale landscapes that John Everett Millais painted in Scotland from 1870 to 1892.   >> Like a wet pebble
  • Grainstacks at Sunset (Snow Effect) by Claude Monet (1890-91) - the contemporary American artist Spencer Finch has sought out the colour of the shadows in this painting for a work of his own.   >> Wind at Walden Pond


  • Paul Signac spends the summer in Brittany.  There he paints five landscapes, each with musical instructions assigned to them.   >> Evening Calm, Concarneau
  • Claude Monet paints Poplars on the Epte, Poplars along the River Epte, Autumn and several other views of the same landscape, working outside at specific times of day.   >> Poplars on the Epte


  • Bruges-la-Morte, the short Symbolist novel by Georges Rodenbach, whose bereaved hero finds solace in the melancholy streets of the old medieval city.  In an essay he published three years earlier, The Death Throes of Towns, Rodenbach described the city as stricken by a kind of consumption.   >> Bruges-la-Morte
  • In the Marquesas Islands, Paul Gauguin paints Parahi te Marae (There Lies the Temple), combining elements of indigenous religions in a sacred enclosure.   >> There Lies the Temple


  • Gustav Mahler has a composing hut built at Steinbach this summer, to avoid noise in the inn.  Here he found inspiration in the colossal rock face of the Höllengebirge, which towers hundreds of feet above the lake.   >> What the rocky mountain tells me
  • In December The Strand magazine publishes Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Adventure of the Final Problem' in which Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty fight to the death at the Reichenbach Falls.   >> The Reichenbach Falls


  • Aurélien-François Lugné-Poë stages Henri de Régnier's La Gardienne in front of a Symbolist landscape of blue trees with a purple palace, painted by Édouard VuillardAlfred Jarry later wrote seeing Lugné-Poë do the play outside in the open air.   >> Hills are all that is necessary, with a few trees for shade
  • Lafcadio Hearn publishes his first book on Japan.  Among his many subsequent essays and stories one describes the Tanabata festival in which the Milky Way is imagined as a landscape feature in the sky (it was published a year after his death in 1905).  >> The River of Heaven
  • John Muir publishes The Mountains of California.  It includes a memorable essay on the experience of trees in a storm.   >> Composing in the Wilderness
  • August Strindberg's painting Wonderland, composed in proto-Surrealist, proto-Abstract Expressionist style.  It would be followed by other striking landscapes showing the view from a cave (or, a variation, the view of a landscape framed by leaves).   >> Wonderland 
  • Knut Hamsun's novel Pan. “Think of the Nordland in Norway, this regions of the Lapper, the mysteries, the grand superstitions, the midnight-sun, think of J. J. Rousseau in the regions, making acquaintance with a Nordlands girl — that is my book.”  >> Summer nights and still water


  • Marcel Proust’s first book, Les Plaisirs et les Jours includes descriptions of landscape painters and a beautiful passage headed ‘Seascape’.   >> The sea at Balbec
  • Paul Cézanne’s beautiful painting Lac d’Annecy, ‘with no two strokes of blue or green appearing exactly the same in size hue or direction’.   >> Lac d’Annecy
  • Giovanni Segantini paints Spring Pastures, one of his Alpine landscapes.  Segantini's search for ever higher places to paint en plein air was influenced in part by his reading of Nietzsche.   >> A Panorama of the Engadine
  • Prince Eugen of Sweden finished one of his paintings called the Cloud this year.  His art was influenced by Impressionism but had a symbolist quality.   >> The Cloud
  • Anton Chekhov's The Seagull is first performed.  Its moonlit lake scene is like a Munch painting.   >> Moonlit lake
  • A. E. Housman publishes A Shropshire Lad, a book popular with soldiers in the trenches.  In his poem 'On Wenlock Edge' the wind blows over the land, indifferent to history.   >> From pastoral ruin to pastoral ruin 
  • Travelling through China, the writer and photographer Isabelle Bird cleaned the chemical from her negatives in the river and hung the printing-frames over the side of the boat. A faint trace of Yangtze mud survives on a few of her prints.   >> On the Banks of the Yangtze


  • In May both J. M. Synge and Lady Gregory first visit the Aran islands when, as Tim Robinson has written, 'Aran was still unfrequented enough to afford the luxury of solitude and the excitements of anthropological pioneering.'   >> The wild pastimes of the cliff


  • Haiku poet Masaoka Shiki is confined to bed, dying of tuberculosis.  One of his disciples arranges to have glass installed in the sliding doors of Shiki's room, so that he could see out into the garden.  >> The winter sun shines in 
  • In The Theory of the Leisure Class Thorstein Veblen argues that the close-cropped lawn is 'beautiful in the eyes of a people whose inherited bent it is to readily find pleasure in contemplating a well-preserved pasture or grazing land.'   >> Imitations of the pasture

The Twentieth Century



  • "You could transform not merely pieces of rock, but rather an entire cliff from top to bottom into a work of architectural art?"  Paul Scheerbart's visionary architectural ideas inform his short novel Rakkóx the Billionaire.   >> The Rakkóx cliffs


  • Erskine Childers publishes The Riddle of Sands, drawing on his own experiences in 1897, sailing the Baltic and Friesian Islands.   >> The Riddle of the Sands


  • Paul Cézanne paints Mont Sainte-Victoire Seen from Les Lauves around this time, one of the viewpoints John Rewald photographed in the mid thirties.   >> Millstone in the Park of Château Noir 
  • Raymond Roussel publishes three experimental poems - 'La Source', 'La Vue' and 'Le Concert'.  'The View' is a description over 2000 lines long of a tiny beach scene set into the lens of a pen-holder.   >> Toward the sea’s edge
  • A modified version of Bruges is the basis for Fernand Khnopff's drawing The Abandoned Town.  There is an absence of people and even the statue is missing, leaving just an empty plinth.  An incoming tide is starting to cover the stones of the Woensdagmarkt.   >> Bruges-la-Morte
  • M. R. James publishes 'Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad' in his Ghost Stories of an Antiquary -- two TV adaptations have made use of the haunting Suffolk coastal landscape.   >> The wind was bitter from the north


  • Claude Debussy owned a copy of Hokusai's print The Great Wave.  He uses it as a cover image when publishing La Mer, three symphonic sketches for orchestra.   >> Green and gold and turquoise waves
  • The pastel landscapes drawn by Stanislaw Wyspianski, like his View of Kósciuszko Mound, Krakow (1905), have a creeping sense of unease in the slightly discordant colours and shadowy, skeletal trees.    >> View of Kósciuszko Mound, Krakow
  • In Hjalmar Söderberg's brilliant novel Doctor Glas, his narrator describes the Stockholm Archipelago as overrated: 'A mincemeat landscape, all chopped up'.   >> The Stockholm Archipelago


  • Publication of The Travels of Lao Ts'an, a novel by Liu E (Liu Tieh-yün) that includes a precise depiction of the way ice on the Yellow River is gradually packed together and wedged solid.   >> Ice on the Yellow River
  • In his memoir Father and Son, Edmund Gosse described the effect of collectors, many inspired by his father's bestseller The Aquarium, on the rockpools of Devon.   >> The ring of living beauty


  • Lithuanian painter and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis writes to his fiancee 'I would like to compose a symphony of the murmur of the waves, of the mysterious whisper of a hundred-year forest, of the blinking of the stars, of our songs and of my endless yearning.'   >> Sonata of the Sun
  • 'The entire landscape appeared to him to be praying, so invitingly, with all its faint, muted earthen hues.'  Robert Walser publishes his novel 'The Assistant' in which the landscape seems to have powers of expression.   >> The region appeared to be smiling 
  • In The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame's pastoral dream of England, the idea of the city has been literally buried: badger's underground home is built out of the remains of civilisation.   >> The Wind in the Willows
  • Charles Ives writes first drafts of ‘The Housatonic at Stockbridge’, which records the memory of a walk that Ives took with his wife, Harmony, along the banks of the Housatonic River.   >> The Housatonic at Stockbridge


  • Painter Piet Mondrian heads for the dunes on the cold northern shores where he felt he could immerse himself in the void...   >> Pier and ocean
  • Wallace Stevens (not yet a published poet) visits an exhibition of Chinese paintings and compiles his own imaginary exhibition based on their colours.   >> By a pine-shaded stream


  • In Antarctica Herbert Ponting takes his famous photograph of A Cavern in an Iceberg.   >> Terra Incognita
  • Chemist-turned-geographer Vaughan Cornish publishes wave pictures, including, Breaker and Bores on a Flat Shore.  >> Liquid landscapes


  • Franz Kafka begins writing Amerika, his unfinished novel in which the USA resembles an 'exploded Bohemia'   >> A panorama of New York
  • Edvard Munch's The Yellow Log, in which a woodland scene is given some ostranenie with the prominent log of the title, a shining Symbol like a felled sunbeam.   >> Vinterbillede
  • In Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome, the snowy winter landscape plays a central role both in the framing narrative and the tragic story itself.   >> Death-white realms
  • Augustus John and James Dickson Innes spend time in the Arenig Valley painting 'a body of work to rival the visionary landscapes of Matisse.'   >> The Mountain That Had to Be Painted


  • Paul Nash makes some of his early drawings of trees and dream-like landscapes, including Pyramids in the Sea.   >> Pyramids in the Sea


  • On the path to abstraction Wassily Kandinsky paints Landscape with Red Spots, retaining elements of the landscape at Murnau but no longer explicitly referring to it.   >> Landscape with Red Spots
  • In July Georg Trakl publishes his first book of poems set in melancholy landscapes: silent woods and dark paths, barren fields and withered gardens.   >> From the earth decay is seeping


  • The Vorticist Manifesto blasts our 'flabby sky that can manufacture no snow, but can only drop the sea on us in a drizzle like a poem by Mr. Robert Bridges.'    >> Bless all ports.
  • Edward Thomas writes his earliest poems including 'Old Man'.  Charles Tomlinson's poem 'Old Man, or Lad's Love' recalls meeting Myfanwy Thomas and being given by her a sprig of old man from the bush Thomas wrote about.   >> The stranger's bright city
  • Man Ray 1914 is both a landscape and the artist’s signature - it looks at first glance like a cubist landscape, but once you read the artist’s name it becomes hard to see it as anything other than a reduction of the modern artwork to its one essential component, the signature.   >> Man Ray 1914
  • Henri Matisse’s View of Notre Dame, a source for some of Robert Motherwell’s Open series.   >> View of Notre Dame
  • Frederick Delius completes his North Country Sketches, inspired by Pennine Dales.  Jonathan Williams would write a sound poem based on them in 1978, The Delian Seasons.   >> North Country Sketches
  • Victor Segalen travels through northern China and Tibet, forming the basis for his posthumously published Equipée (Journey to the Land of the Real).   >> Journey to the Land of the Real


  • In a letter to his hostess at Garsington Manor, Ottoline Morrell, D. H. Lawrence writes a landscape description that Geoff dyer has called 'a synthesis in prose of Blake, Constable and Turner'.   >> A cowscape without cows
  • The Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss, a tone poem (not really a symphony) that is one of the most famous examples of landscape programme music.   >> Alpine Symphony
  • The young Swedish architects Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz win the competition to design a new woodland cemetery in Stockholm, a seminal twentieth century landscape design.   >> Skogskyrkogården, the Woodland Cemetery


  • Tom Thomson's famous painting The Jack Pine.  A year later he disappeared while on a canoeing trip in Algonquin Park, prompting many subsequent theories about the cause of his death.   >> The Jack Pine


  • The final entry in the war diary of landscape poet Edward Thomas, dated 8 April 1917, describes a bright warm Easter day – he was killed the next day at 7.36 am by a shell blast.   >> Roads shining like river up hill after rain
  • Ivor Gurney's book of poems Severn and Somme.  Gurney's engagement with landscape has been traced from pre-war Gloucestershire to the 'anti-landscape' of Ypres.   >> The lanes and fields of Gloucestershire
  • The Welsh poet Hedd Wyn leaves for the War and is killed at Ypres.  He wrote a haiku-like poem about the Prysor valley: 'Only the purple moon at the edge of the bare mountain, and the sound of the old river Prysor singing in the valley.'   >> A Prospect of Wales
  • Artist Paul Nash writes home from the trenches: 'The rain drives on, the stinking mud becomes more evilly yellow, the shell holes fill up with green-white water, the roads and tracks are covered in inches of slime, the black dying trees ooze and sweat and the shells never cease.'   >> Black dying trees ooze and sweat and the shells never cease
  • "I came into a pine forest, through which coiled a smiling, serpentine, and at the same time roguishly graceful path, which I followed with pleasure." - Robert Walser's story 'The Walk'.   >> The Walk


  • The Spanish flu forces Barcelona University to shut down.  Josep Pla goes home to his parents in coastal Palafrugell and, aspiring to be a writer, not a lawyer, he resolves to hone his style by keeping a journal.  The result (including descriptions of the landscape of his youth) was published in 1966.  >> The landscape has an antique stillness


  • Guillermo de Torre's visual landscape poem 'Paisaje Plastico'.   >> Paisaje Plastico
  • Robinson Jeffers, nature poet and inspiration for The Dark Mountain Manifesto, moves into his tower at Carmel Point. >> Carmel Point
  • Pablo Picasso, not an artist much given to landscape, paints Landscape with Dead and Live Trees, a 'paysage rousseauiste' which he was rather surprised to sell so easily.   >> Boisgeloup in the Rain


  • Paul Strand and Charles Sheeler's six minute New York film Manhatta - Sheeler used one shot as the basis for a painting.   >> Manhatta


  • Alfred Watkins presents his idea of ley-lines to the Woolhope Archaeology Club’s autumn meeting on 29 September.   >> Four Stones and Castle Tomen


  • Paul Nash was painting the bleak coastal landscape of Dymchurch, focusing on the concrete sea wall and showing the flat planes of sea, sand, steps, pathway and sky.   >> The Wall, Dymchurch
  • The plane trees are felled in front of her London house, inspiring two Charlotte Mew poems.   >> The great plane-trees


  • 'I am prepared to meet my death / In this excessively lucid landscape', Kenji Miyazawa writes in his poem 'Scenery and a Music Box', describing a walk along the Toyosawa River to cut down trees in the early evening.   >> Scenery and a Music Box
  • Buster Keaton's film Our Hospitality (1923) has scenes at California's Truckee River but the climactic scene at a waterfall was filmed on a specially constucted set.  >> Crossing a river


  • Joan Miró completes The Catalan Landscape (The Hunter), in which the land is reduced to an undulating orange plane.  Sea and sky are delineated by no more than a thin line ruled over the yellow background.   >> Animated Landscapes



  • Giorgio De Chirico's Wooded Interior - within a room there is a mysterious, densely wooded landscape, rooted in the floorboards and pushing upward into the ceiling, and sea waves rolling in from some unseen horizon.   >> Harbour and Room
  • The Holy Mountain, the first of six mountain films made by Arnold Fanck and Leni Riefenstahl.   >> The Holy Mountain
  • Henri Matisse paints Route du Cap d’Antibes – Le Grand Pin; traces of his paint were found in the landscape by Patrick Heron twenty-three years later.   >> The road to Cap d'Antibes


  • David Jones paints Roman Land, a seemingly timeless view of farmland made on his first trip abroad since his return from the trenches, and Landscape, Salies-de-Béarn, a vibrant painting with echoes of Bonnard and Dufy painted on the same trip.   >> The pass where Roland fell
  • Ben Nicolson and Christopher Wood made the trip to St Ives where they famously ‘discovered’ Alfred Wallis in his cottage by Porthmeor beach. Both artists made paintings called Porthmeor which resemble modernist stage sets.   >> St Ives... tomfoolery about scenery


  • 'As soon as I saw it, that was my country.  I'd never seen anything like it before, but it fitted me exactly.'  Painter Georgia O'Keeffe is inspired by the landscape of Taos, New Mexico.  >> The Black Place
  • Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's Manifesto dell'Aeropittura, says that 'every aeropainting simultaneously contains the double movement of the aeroplane and of the painter's hand'.   >> Soaring Flight


  • Canadian Group of Seven painter J. E. H. MacDonald's view of a small turquoise lake in the gathering snow, with the Japanese-sounding title, Mountain Solitude (Lake Oesa).  >> The Jack Pine
  • Hans Jürgen von der Wense, German poet, composer and walker, first visits the region of Hesse-Kassel.   Some of the writings about this landscape left at his death in 1966 have been published as Wanderjahre.   >> Only a golden birch is snowing


  • René Magritte paints La Condition Humaine, the view from a window, partly hidden by a painting on an easel. The painting, a landscape, fills in almost seamlessly the view of the real countryside outside the window.   >> Clearing


  • Robert Flaherty's film Man of Aran shows life lived on the edge, with storm waves crashing over dramatically lit cliffs and the tiny figures of a mother and her son looking anxiously out to sea.   >> The wild pastimes of the cliff
  • The uninhabited island of Linga is described in an essay, 'Life in the Shetlands' by Hugh MacDiarmid published this year. His poem 'On a Raised Beach' also appeared in 1934.   >> Light lay over the northland like a shawl
  • Motorists of the 1930s were encouraged to discover the landscape of Britain by the posters for Shell-Mex designed by artists like Vanessa Bell, Graham Sutherland and Frank Dobson.  Cyril Connolly titled his review of an exhibition of Shell-Mex commissioned artwork this year 'The New Medici'.   >> The bracing glories of our clouds


  • Haldor Laxness publishes the second half of Independent People.  Some of the novel's evocative chapter titles are like condensed landscape poems.   >> Drifting Snow
  • Franklin Carmichael, one of the Canadian Group of Seven painters, is photographed sketching at Great Lake, Northern Ontario.  This image has recently been reworked more than once in paintings by Peter Doig.   >> Figure in a Mountain Landscape


  • The Plow that Broke the Plains, the Dust Bowl documentary described by its director, Pare Lorentz, as a ‘melodrama of nature’, with a score by Virgil Thomson.   >> High winds and sun . . .
  • Eileen Agar visits Ploumenac’h in Brittany where she takes Surrealist photographs of stones that may have inspired Paul Nash.   >> Rocks at Ploumenac’h, Brittany
  • Carl Seelig travels to the mental hospital at Herisau in Switzerland and makes the first of his walks with Robert Walser.  He would describe them in his book Wanderungen mit Robert Walser (1959).   >> A meadow, a wood, and a few peaceful houses


  • Three Rooms by Paul Nash depicts, sky, forest and water in the midst of three different rooms.  It is one of several paintings he did where landscape emerges from interior views.   >> Harbour and Room 


  • On September 28th the poet Kenneth Rexroth is camping at Lake Catherine in California, a fact that can be discerned from his precise description of the stars in a subsequent poem.   >> In the Sierra
  • Georges Bataille's text, Le paysage suggests that 'our projections of beauty or horror onto the landscape, which constitute what we think of as ‘landscape’, are necessary illusions.'   >> Cities express the human will
  • Christopher Tunnard's book about the aesthetics of landscape, Gardens in the Modern Landscape.   >> A yew on the chalk downs
  • Chiang Yee publishes The Silent Traveller in London, one of his travel books that describe the British landscape in a way informed by Chinese aesthetics.  ‘As I walk, the typical drizzle sometimes accompanied by gusts is blown in my face and brings an indescribable feeling…’   >> Crystal-like rain-screens
  • For Sergei Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky the ice battle was filmed on a mixture of asphalt and melted glass, with sheets of fake ice supported by floating pontoons. The music by Sergei Prokofiev echoed these visuals, including the landscape.   >> Battle on the Ice


  • Emily Carr paints The Remains of a Forest.  She often painted trees and in her writings described the auditory quality of the Canadian forest.    >> The evergreen forest seethes and roars
  • 'riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay...' The opening words of Finnegans Wake by James Joyce.  There is now a statue of Anna Livia Plurabelle in Dublin.   >> riverrun
  • Eric Ravilious paints Tea at Furlongs.  While at this cottage he found inspiration for Train Landscape and The Wilmington Giant.  'Furlongs', he wrote, 'altered my whole outlook and way of painting, I think because the colour of the landscape was so lovely and the design so beautifully obvious...'   >> Tea at Furlongs
  • Kenneth Clark conceives the Recording Britain project to employ artists and record the country now under threat from German air raids.  Artists included John Piper, Kenneth Rowntree and Enid Marx >> Recording Britain
  • In Wind, Sand and Stars (Terre des hommes) Antoine de Saint-Exupéry describes flying over the North African desert.   >> Sand and stars


  • Over the course of a month, poet Francis Ponge records his repeated attempts to express the essence of the landscape he found himself in after fleeing south following the German occupation.   >> The Pine Woods Notebook
  • The Sheffield Blitz, just two nights of bombing in December 1940, left 78,000 houses damaged.  Henry Rushbury subsequently paints Angel Street from Snig Hill, Sheffield showing its aftermath, a scene of smouldering rubble hosed down by a group of soldiers.  >> Picturing Sheffield


  • Klee Wyck, a memoir by the painter Emily Carr, belatedly brings her public attention at the end of her life and helps shape the image of her for Canadians.   >> Cha-atl
  • Gerardo Dottori writes his 'Umbrian Manifesto of Aeropainting', describing himself as 'a passionate Umbrian who adores his land.'  Dottori was a Futurist who painted stylised aerial views of lakes and mountains.   >> Dawn over the Gulf 


  • John Craxton’s Neo-Romantic drawing Dreamer in a Landscape, influenced by Blake and Palmer.   >> Dreamer in a Landscape
  • Graham Sutherland's essay 'A Welsh Sketchbook', appears in Horizon: 'The quality of light here is magical and transforming - as indeed it is in all this country.'   >> A Prospect of Wales


  • Paul Valéry’s ‘Dialogue of the Tree’ contrasts the desire of Virgil's Tityrus to celebrate a simple unreflective idea of nature, with Lucretius’s search for a more profound underlying truth.   >> Under a beech tree


  • Arshile Gorky's landscape paintings, like One Year the Milkweed and Cornfield of Health, recall his father's orchard at Khorkom, on the shore of the Black Sea.   >> Garden in Sochi
  • Landscape of the Vernal Equinox by Paul Nash - 'like the simultaneous presentation of an actual landscape and its dream-like mirror-image.’   >> Landscape of the Vernal Equinox


  • Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes includes his Sea Interludes which have been likened to a seascape painting.   >> The sea at Aldeburgh


  • Slavko Vorkapich and John Hoffman make an experimental film, Forest Murmurs, shot in Angeles National Forest and scored to the interlude from Wagner’s Siegfried.   >> Moods of the Sea
  • Theodora Stanwell-Fletcher's account of her months studying plants and animals in north-central British Columbia, Driftwood Valley.   >> Christmas in Driftwood Valley
  • A Camera in The Cairngorms, one of a series of topographical photography books by 'The Perfumed Mountaineer' Walter Poucher.   >> Lipstick Traces
  • Yasunari Kawabata's novel Snow Country. It includes a scene where the sounds of breezes in pine trees can be heard in the boiling of a kettle.   >> The sound of wind in the pines
  • The late 'black paintings' of Huang Binhong (born 1865) are increasingly experimental.  A landscape from this year for example has a remarkable use of blue, most prominent on the distant mountains.   >> The emptiness of fullness
  • 'A conglomeration of pale corrugated roofs shimmer with an unearthly light, cradled within the warm umbers of a barren landscape...' - Sheds by a Quarry one of Prunella Clough's early paintings.   >> The New English Landscape
  • Barbara Hepworth submits four landscape-related designs for sculptures on Waterloo Bridge: The Hills, The Valleys, The River, The Sea.  They are not accepted.   >> The Hills, The Valleys, The River, The Sea 


  • W. H. Auden writes ‘In Praise of Limestone’, which talks about ‘the one landscape that we, the inconstant ones, are consistently homesick for.’   >> The wildness of the gryke
  • John Piper’s set designs for the ballet Job, based on Blake’s illustrations to the Book of Job and composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams.   >> Visions of little dells


  • Publication of he first volume in Hans Henny Jahnn’s four-part work Fluß ohne Ufer (Shoreless River), in which pieces of birch bark inspire musical composition.  >> Shoreless River
  • in 'The Green Pasture' section of his environmental classic A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold writes of the way the river builds up a painting, first with silt and then with plants which in turn attract birds and animals.  >> The Green Pasture
  • William Carlos Williams publishes Paterson Book Three which explores the geological strata under the city, writing that would later influence Robert Smithson.   >> Paterson
  • On 15 December, the first performance of Song of the Forests, written by Dmitri Shostakovich to celebrate the forestation of the Russian steppes.  A year earlier he had been denounced for formalism and the Song of the Forests was written to help secure his rehabilitation.   >> Song of the Forests
  • Landscapes, finished in 1949 and premiered by the San Francisco Symphony in 1953, is the earliest work for orchestra by Chinese-American composer Chou Wen-chung.   >> One streak of dying light


  • Terry Frost paints Moon Quay, based on the experience of walking from his house on Quay Street in St Ives.   >> Moon Quay
  • Romney Marsh, illustrated and described by John Piper, one of a number of topographical studies published as King Penguins.   >> Romney Marsh


  • The Festival of Britain features a mural by John Piper, The Englishman's Home.   >> The Englishman's Home
  • Bill Brandt’s Literary Britain, a collection of photographs he had taken of the places associated with British writers, from Chaucer to Lawrence.   >> Top Withens
  • Jacquetta Hawkes' A Land published - a consciously poetic history of the land, opening with the author lying in her back garden imagining the earth's strata beneath her.   >> A Land
  • Hudson River Landscape a 'drawing in space' by the abstract expressionist sculptor David Smith.   >> Hudson River Landscape
  • On a flight from California to Albuquerque the painter Richard Diebenkorn is first struck by the view of landscape from the air. "I guess it was the combination of desert and agriculture that really turned me on.”   >> The questions of the sea


  • The Anathemata, a book-length poem by David Jones, 'draws its material mainly from Celtic, Latin and Teutonic 'deposits' underlying London and Wales, and from English literature.'  In a section called 'Rite and Fore-Time' he describes the formation of the land itself.   >> Before the melt-waters


  • Narrated by Cecil Day Lewis, the documentary film Figures in a Landscape 'offers a poetic portrait of sculptor Barbara Hepworth and the otherworldly Cornwall landscapes that inspired her work.'   >> The sea is never far


  • Hans Børli's collection When I See a Flower in the Forest.  Børli was a Norwegian woodsman who spent his days as a lumberjack and put down his poems 'at night while the other forest workers slept.'   >> The Forest's Song
  • Tomas Tranströmer's early 17 Poems includes 'Five Stanzas to Thoreau', where silence slowly spiral from the earth to grow 'with its burgeoning crown to shade his sun-heated doorstep.'   >> To go out and walk far in the forest
  • Sorley MacLean's 'Hallaig' is published in the Gaelic journal Gairm.  It is a poem about the effects of the Clearances on Raasay.   >> The Woods of Raasay


  • In August Gary Snyder writes 'Milton by Firelight', reflecting on how culture feels when you are alone in the wilderness.   >> Piute Creek
  • Georges Braque begins a series of Normandy landscapes, a response, perhaps, to the exhibition "Van Gogh et les peintres d'Auvers-sur-Oise," held at the Orangerie in the winter of 1954-55.   >> The season of rainy winter


  • John Ford filmed nine westerns in Monument Valley, including The Searchers, released this year, supposedly set in Texas.   >> Monument Valley


  • The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino. 'The Ligurian landscape, where trees have almost disappeared today, in the Baron is transformed into a kind of apotheosis of vegetation.'   >> The Road to San Giovanni


  • Fu Baoshi, who specialised in rainswept landscapes, paints On the Theme of Mao Zedong's 'Swimming'.   'Swimming' was the poem Mao wrote after crossing the Yangtze, but its emphasis on the mastery of nature is barely felt in Fu's painting.   >> High in the gorges a rock dam will rise


  • Cy Twombly, living in Italy, executes his Poems to the Sea series in a single day in 1959.  The paintings are crammed with classical and poetic references.   >> Poems to the Sea


  • Peter Lanyon's Soaring Flight - the red paint, recognisable as an image of his glider is a signal of the artist's presence, the colour suggesting both vitality and danger.   >> Soaring Flight


  • Guillevic’s Carnac,  a return to the landscape of the poet's childhood. He said that in it "I found myself completely, I found my country again, the land, the sea, I relived what I had been before."   >> Carnac
  • Ingmar Bergman's Through a Glass Darkly - the first film he made on Fårö.  He later wrote 'My ties with Fårö have several origins.  The first was intuitive. This is your landscape, Bergman.'   >> The rocks of Fårö
  • Poet Roy Fisher publishes The City, inspired by Birmingham, ' a particular large nondescript undersigned city, which was a deposit of all sorts of inadvertent by-products of ideas.'   >> Brick-dust in sunlight


  • J. G. Ballard's The Drowned World: 'The bulk of the city had long since vanished, and only the steel-supported buildings of the central commercial and financial areas had survived the encroaching flood waters.'   >> The Drowned World
  • Argentinian writer Haroldo Conti's novel of the Paraná Delta, Southeaster describes the region's sandbanks, shorelines and mist-shrouded islands.   >> Southeaster 


  • Tarjei Vesaas' novel The Ice Palace (Is-Slottet), a remarkable book in which the Norwegian winter landscape is integral to the plot.   >> The Ice Palace
  • Tove Jansson, whose Moomin books convey her love of the Finnish archipelago, returns to painting in the mid-sixties. Works like Abstract Sea, painted this year, are influenced by abstract expressionism.  >> The sea like a vortex
  • Tōru Takemitsu composes Arc for Piano and Orchestra, dividing the orchestra into four groups ranging from the most fluid, mobile sounds to the most enduring and stable, corresponding to (1) grass and flowers, (2) trees, (3) rocks and (4) sand and earth.   >> The Garden of Music
  • The Way of the World, Nicolas Bouvier's account of the journey he made ten years earlier with the artist Thierry Vernet from Yugoslavia to the Khyber Pass.   >> Lake Mashū


  • Michelangelo Antonioni's Red Desert - filmed among Ravenna's smoky factories, oil derricks and steel pylons.   >> Red Desert


  • A. R. Ammons  publishes one of the best known twentieth century landscape poems ‘Corson’s Inlet’.   >> Corson's Inlet


  • Paddle to the Sea, a film made by Bill Mason, follows the journey of a small wooden canoe, carved by a lonely boy in the woods of west Ontario, as it is carried by currents through lakes and rivers until eventually being found at the sea by a lighthouse keeper.  >> Paddle to the Sea
  • Swedish arthouse film called Well well well, or the Song of the Flame-Red Lobster by Torbjörn Axelman involves the creation of a vast abstract painting on a frozen lake by a man in a suit running around and firing paint bombs.  >> The Song of the Flame-Red Lobster
  • Poet Gary Snyder buys his own plot of land, 'a hundred acres of manzanita thickets, with open stretches of ponderosa pine, black oak, cedar, madrone, Douglas fir, bunchgrass...'   >> American Smoke
  • Publication of the first volume of poet Philippe Jaccottet's notebook selections La Semaison ('Seedtime').   >> Rose, open door of the year


  • Ronald Johnson's The Book of the Green Man, which he describes as an 'attempt, as a brash American, to make new the traditional British long seasonal poem.'   >> As we descended to this valley
  • Ed Ruscha’s Thirty-Four Parking Lots uses aerial photography to turn banal, functional urban landscapes into abstract designs.   >> Parking lot
  • Kito Lorenc sounds writes Struga. Wobrazy našeje Krajiny (The Struga.  Pictures of our Landscape) while employed at the Sorbian Ethnological Research Institute.   >> The Struga. Pictures of our Landscape.


  • Between 1968 and 1970 Gerhard Richter painted a remarkable range of 'damaged landscapes', including aerial views of cities in thick grey paint, the colour of ash and rubble.   >> Iceberg in Mist 
  • Charles Olson publishes Maximus Poems IV, V and VI, continuing his exploration of the history of Gloucester.  The last of these contains an actual landscape poem: 'The River Map and then we're done'.   >> Polis Is This
  • Lorine Niedecker publishes North Central which includes her 'Paean to Place'.   >> Lake Superior
  • Ed Ruscha paints several versions of the Hollywood sign - the sign itself (erected in 1923) could be seen as a sculptural work of art in the landscape.  >> Hollywoodland


  • Giuseppe Penone begins To repeat the forest, a series where the trees hidden inside mass-produced lumber are liberated by carving away the pulp to reveal 'the way the tree rose into the sky.'   >> To repeat the forest
  • Denis Oppenheim and Peter Hutchison try to paint the irregular shape of Highway 20 onto the waters of a Caribbean cove, using magenta dye and gasoline.   >> High in the gorges a rock dam will rise
  • Members of newly-formed Czechoslovakian band The Plastic People of the Universe take part in a land art action by Zorka Ságlová: Throwing Plastic Balls into the Bořín Pond in Průhonice.   >> Throwing Plastic Balls into the Bořín Pond
  • Robert Smithson is invited to exhibit in London at the ICA show, ‘When Attitudes Become Form’, and so he and Nancy Holt take the opportunity to make their own kind of picturesque tour of England and Wales.   >> Pine Barrens: Trees
  • For 150 ft Seaskape, Largiebeg Bruce McLean lays a huge sheet of sensitised paper on the shore of the Isle of Arran, hoping for an indexical print of the landscape.   >> 150 ft Seaskape, Largiebeg
  • 'The Peninsula', a poem in Seamus Heaney's second collection, Door into the Dark, written after a drive to the Ards peninsula in County Down, describes the way landscape can restore the ability to really see the world when it seems there is 'nothing more to say.'   >> Stepping Stones 
  • The Fulcrum Press publishes a collection of poems by Lee Harwood entitled Landscapes.   >> Toward the sea’s edge
  • Lunar landscapes: views of Rima Ariadaeus, a terraced wall crater, and a lunar rille, all photographed by the Apollo 10 astronauts.   >> Earthrise


  • Herbert Distel’s Projekt Canaris in which a three metre long polyester egg was launched from the coast of West Africa.  it sailed beyond the Canary Islands and was eventually spotted off the island of Trinidad.   >> Beyond Twelve Nautical Miles
  • In April Robert Smithson constructs the Spiral Jetty which has subsequently changed with the water levels and been threatened with development.   >> Spiral Jetty under threat
  • The Canadian experimental filmmaker and photographer David Rimmer, who made his name with works relating to the contemplation of landscape, completes Surfacing on the Thames.    >> Surfacing on the Thames
  • The American experimental filmmaker Larry Gottheim makes his ten minute silent movie Fog Line in which a landscape gradually emerges from the mist.   >> Fog Line
  • In Jones Beach Piece, the American artist Joan Jonas explored 'the idea of how our perception of image and movement is altered by distance.'   >> Jones Beach Piece
  • Michelangelo Antonioni's film Zabriskie Point contrasts the purity of the desert with the city of Los Angeles.   >> Zabriskie Point


  • Werner Herzog's film Fata Morgana, in which Earth is seen as an alien planet.   >> Fata Morgana
  • Derek Jarman's short early film Journey to Avebury, for which Coil would later compose a soundtrack.   >> A Journey to Avebury
  • Simon English marks out the word ENGLAND on an ordnance survey map, dividing the word into 75 component points, and plants the St. George's flag at each site in his All England Sculpture.   >> The grey sea turns in its sleep
  • Henri Michaux's Ideograms in China, discusses natural signs where a written page could be full of 'everything to be found in the world'.   >> Water falling, drop by drop
  • On a cold October day field recordist Bernie Krause has a revelatory experience of the soundscape at the edge of a stream feeding Lake Wallowa in northeastern Oregon.  >> Voices from the Land


  • French poet Yves Bonnefoy's beautiful aesthetic reverie, The Arrière-pays, in which certain landscapes seem almost to speak 'like a language, as if the absolute would declare itself, if we could only look and listen intently.'  >> The Arrière-pays
  • Robert Wilson and his avant-garde theatre group the Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds stage a seven-day non-stop performance across an entire mountain landscape in Iran, called KA MOUNTAIN AND GUARDenia TERRACE: a story about a family and some people changing.   >> KA MOUNTAIN AND GUARDenia TERRACE 
  • Olivier Messiaen visits Utah - various landscapes there Cedar Breaks, Bryce Canyon and Zion Park would inspire Des canyons aux étoiles...   >> From the canyons to the stars... 
  • In his film Dwellings, Charles Simonds describes the fragility of his miniature clay landscapes, built in crevices and corners on the Lower East Side.   >> Landscape <--> Body <--> Dwelling
  • Einojuhani Rautavaara's Cantus Arcticus: Concerto for birds and orchestra, which opens with a movement entitled Suo (The Marsh), in which solo flutes are joined by the recorded sound of marsh birds.   >> Suo (The Marsh)
  • Richard Long's A Walk of Four Hours and Four Circles, where concentric circles were each walked in one hour, a procedure reminiscent of some of the ideas being pursued at the time by John Cage.   >> Straight Miles and Meandering Miles
  • Chris Welsby's film Wind Vane, made on Hampstead Heath, partly dispenses with artistic control by allowing the wind to decide the frame at any given moment, using a kind of sail device.   >> Wind Vane
  • Circle of Light, a film about the surreal landscape transparencies of Pamela Bone, with a soundtrack composed by Delia Derbyshire.   >> Circle of Light


  • Ian Hamilton Finlay is gradually working on his garden Stonypath (later Little Sparta).  This year Stephen Bann makes the first film of the garden, Stonypath Days.   >> The Louvre of the Pebble
  • Michael Singer's Marsh Ritual Series on Long Island.  Like his later Glades Ritual Series, a sculptural construction spread across a large area of landscape.   >> Marsh Ritual
  • Sound artist Maryanne Amacher installs 'a microphone on a window overlooking the ocean at the New England Fish Exchange in Boston Harbour, transmitting the sound into her home studio continuously'.  >> City Links


  • 'A rainbow before me all at once fills me with the greatest confidence.  What a sign it is, over and in front of him who walks.  Everyone should walk.'  Werner Herzog walks to Paris.  His account of the journey, Of Walking in Ice, is published four years later.   >> Of Walking in Ice
  • Yagul (Burial Pyramid) - one of Ana Mendieta's Silueta works, where she lies under a mound of rocks in a Mexican landscape.   >> Siluetas, Traces


  • Pine Barrens: Trees by Nancy Holt, a seven by four grid of video stills showing solitary stunted pine trees in a wilderness area of New Jersey.   >> Pine Barrens: Trees
  • Richard Hamilton exhibits Andrex toilet-roll-advert-inspired work at the Serpentine Gallery along with other landscape views derived from postcards.   >> Soft pink landscape
  • Artist Roni Horn makes her first trip to Iceland and discovers a landscape of hot springs.   >> Hot Pot at Strútur
  • Anselm Kiefer's The Burning of the Rural District of Buchen IV 'documents an imagined conflagration and destruction of the area where he was then living and working ... This is how the traditions of Friedrich and Schinkel looked and felt to Kiefer in the aftermath of the Third Reich: burnt out, haunted by overpowering, terrible events.'  >> The Rhine (Melancholia)


  • Susan Hiller's Dedicated to the Unknown Artists (1972-76), an installation containing several hundred vintage and contemporary "rough sea" postcards.   >> Rough Seas
  • Julien Gracq's fluvial revery The Narrow Waters, an essay about his memories of drifting on the river Evre.   >> The Narrow Waters


  • Walter De Maria’s best known land art installation, Lightning Field.   >> Lightning Field
  • The Compass Flower, the first book by W.S. Merwin after his move to the island of Maui, where he writes and plants trees, restoring the natural forest surrounding his home.  >> Hearing the leaves and the breathing shore
  • Patrick Leigh Fermor publishes A Time of Gifts, describing his pre-War journey across Europe.  >> Moonlight on the Danube
  • Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain is finally published by Aberdeen University Press.  Her descriptions of the Cairngorms were partly prefigured in the poetry she wrote back in the 1930s.   >> In the Cairngorms
  • In Orkney, Margaret Tait begins filming Land Makar, an essay film about her farming neighbour Mary Gordon Sinclair.  >> Land Makar
  • David Nash plants Ash Dome.  He has said that clips of him working on it over the years show the sculpture gradually growing while he just gets older.   >> Forest, Field & Sky
  • Bonita Ely begins The Murray River Project, exposing concerns over pollution through photographs, drawings and performance.   >> Taste of a Stone


  • Georges Perec's magnum opus, Life A User's Manual - the novel's main character spends twenty years travelling the world painting watercolours of sea ports.   >> Things seen at Mabillon Junction
  • The realisation in New York of Alan Sonfist's Time Landscape, first proposed in 1965.  >> Circles of Time
  • Mierle Laderman Ukeles is made the artist-in-residence at New York City’s Department of Sanitation >> Landfill
  • David Nash's Wooden Boulder begins its journey to the sea.   >> Wooden boulder


  • Andrei Tarkovsky's film Stalker, an inspiration for many recent artists and writers on landscape (Geoff Dyer's Zona is a close reading of it).  >> Zona
  • Ocean Park No. 115, one of Richard Diebenkorn's abstract paintings inspired by the coast of California.   >> Ocean Park
  • In Tomas Tranströmer's poem 'From March 1979' he goes to a snow-covered island, which resembles unwritten pages, and in the tracks of the deer sees 'language but no words.'   >> To the snow-covered island
  • Chris Petit's road movie Radio On - its most striking shot shows two characters illuminated in the windows of Bristol's Grosvenor Hotel, taken from the Victoria Street flyover (now demolished).   >> The Westway at night


  • Sound artist Michel Redolfi's Immersion in which music played through a sonar loudspeaker underwater was 'shuffled by the waves and unexpected filtering effects resulted from its passing through clouds of foam.  Its dispersion at sea by currents would send back incredibly smooth harmonic echoes.'   >> Sonic Waters and Fantastic Caverns


  • Somei Satoh composes 'Echoes', for the Mist, Sound and Light festival of Kawaji.  'The audience was amidst dense artificial mists spreading upward from the bottom of the valley, laser light beams projected on the hill surface, and tape music that played in extremely low tone at full blast, echoing in the valley.'   >> Dancing in Water 
  • Philippe Jaccottet's Beauregard, inspired by the poet's chance discovery of a remote, 'insignificant' village, in the Drôme.  A collection of 'landscapes in prose'.   >> Beauregard


  • The strangest and most compelling of Abbas’s photographs images shows the demarcation zone between Christian East and Muslim West Beirut.   >> The Green Line
  • The Draughtsman's Contract, directed by Peter Greenaway with music by Michael Nyman - a film about the depiction of a garden.  'The whole film', Greenaway has said, 'is very much a landscape film...'   >> Groombridge Place 
  • Trop Tôt, Trop Tard by Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet, a landscape film that juxtaposes long shots of the French and Egyptian countryside, with texts concerning failed political change.   >> Nothing will take place, but the place.
  • Ingram Marshall collaborates with the photographer Jim Bengston on Alcatraz.  Based on field recordings made at the prison it evolved into a two hour performance piece.  >> Fog Tropes
  • Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi, an experimental film with a Philip Glass score, explores every kind of sublime - natural, industrial, digital.  Time-lapse sequences include shadows lengthening over a desert wilderness and rivers of cars heading into Los Angeles.   >> Koyaanisqatsi
  • A year before her utimely death the English poet Frances Horovitz publishes Rowlstone Haiku.   >> Snow Light, Water Light
  • The collection River by Ted Hughes includes the poem, 'That Morning', that is now quoted on his memorial stone, in which he recalls standing solemnly 'in the pollen light / Waist-deep in wild salmon.'  >> So we stood, alive in the river of light
  • Agnes Denes conceives Tree Mountain-Proposal for a Forest, a work that remained conceptual until the Finnish government announced at the 1992 Earth Summit that it would build it.   >> Tree Mountain
  • Between 1983 and 1985 John Cage composes Ryoanji, inspired by the Zen garden in Kyoto.   >> Ryoanji


  • Andreas Gursky's photograph Klausen Pass: apparently he did not notice the people scattered at the base of the mountain when he took it, but they are what make the image.   >> Klausen Pass
  • Enric Miralles designs the remarkable Igualada cemetery with his partner Carme Pinòs, 'a work which choreographs the geological and sculptural qualities of the landscape.'   >> Igualada Cemetery


  • Cormac McCarthy publishes his novel Blood Meridian.  Roberto Bolaño has written that 'the landscape of Blood Meridian is a landscape out of de Sade, a thirsty and indifferent landscape ruled by strange laws involving pain and anesthesia, laws by which time often manifests itself.'   >> Blood Meridian
  • The Sacrifice by Andrei Tarkovsky includes a shot of lake and tree that has a striking beauty precisely because it lacks spectacle.   >> A lake and a tree
  • Claude Lanzmann's Shoah is finally completed and released.  Its interviews with Holocaust survivors are set against slow pans over landscape footage rather than archival footage.   >> The Lake of Ashes
  • In March Hamish Fulton spends Seven Days and Seven Nights Camping in a Wood in the Cairngorms, the basis for a sound piece.   >> Desert circle
  • The Bow Gamelan Ensemble perform 51º 29'.9"North - 0º11' East, Rainham Barges, bashing out music from makeshift instruments at the river's edge as the tide rises and night falls.  >> Estuary


  • Artist and poet Etel Adnan publishes the Journey To Mount Tamalpais, which took over two decades to write, a slow accumulation of material as she painted, thought and looked each day at the mountain beyond her window.  >> Journey to Mount Tamalpais
  • William Raban's 66 minute long documentary Thames Film which flows from the City of London to the mouth of the river and the Thames estuary seaforts.   >> Thames Film


  • Norwegian artist Marianne Heske's Mountains of the Mind, a video image of a mountain scene with what appear to be heat-sensitive colours.   >> Mountains of the Mind
  • Tree Line, one of many landscape-inspired compositions by Tōru Takemitsu blending Western and Japanese music.   >> Tree Line
  • Feelings from Mountain and Water is made in Shanghai by the renowned Chinese animator Te Wei, whose ink wash technique was based on that of painter Qi Baishi (1864-1957), who was in turn influenced by Bada Shanren (1626 - 1705).   >> Feelings from Mountain and Water


  • In Anglers, Müllheim, one of his large-scale photographs, Andreas Gursky shows two sets of fishermen in an apparently idyllic moment, but a motorway bridge in the distance suggests noise, pollution and the encroachment of the city.   >> Anglers, Mülheim


  • Connemara: A One-Inch Map, with Introduction and Gazetteer - the deep engagement with this landscape encapsulated in the map designed by Tim Robinson and his wife Máiréad led more recently to his Connemara trilogy (2006-11).   >> Connemara: The Last Pool of Darkness
  • Derek Jarman's film The Garden, with tinted, sped-up and slowed-down images of the beach and skies at Dungeness.   >> Place: Taking the Waters
  • The Life of Scattered Stones: Seven One Day Walks in the Rain, Nikko, Japan April 1990 - a Hamish Fulton walk remembered in a print.   >> Scattered Stones at Nikko
  • Roni Horn's book To Place – Book I: Bluff Life, featuring drawings made at Dyrhólaey in Iceland.  Her aim was “to be present and to be a part of a place without changing it”.   >> Thicket No. 1


  • Nuclear Landscapes, 'an anthology of deadpan images of nuclear-war production sites' by photographer Peter Goin.   >> New Western Landscapes
  • Brice Marden completes Cold Mountain 2, one of his abstract paintings inspired by the Tang Dynasty mountain poet Han Shan.   >> Cold Mountain


  • Anselm Kiefer moves to La Ribaute, a 200 acre compound near Barjac in the Cévennes, where he creates an extraordinary landscape of sculptures and buildings.   >> Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow
  • Thomas Joshua Cooper makes 'premonitional' landscape photographs that recall other artists, e.g. A Premonitional Work (Message to Caspar David Friedrich and Francis Frith),  Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, Wales.   >> 'Message to Basho', Kiyosumi Garden


  • Sweeney's Flight intersperses Seamus Heaney's version of Sweeney Astray with photographs Rachel Giese had taken around Sweeney's old kingdom of Dal-Arie.   >> A banked-up, soothing, wooded haze
  • Boden Sea, Uttwil, one of Hiroshi Sugimoto's seascape photographs (actually a lake).  It ha subsequently been used on at least two album covers...    >> Boden Sea, Uttwil
  • Landscape V for shō and string quartet by Toshio Hosokawa, one of several pieces he has written on landscape themes.   >> Cloud and light


  • Wang Jin's Fighting the Flood - Red Flag Canal in which the artist releases 50kg of red pigment into the water, transforming the colour of communism into an agent of pollution.   >> High in the gorges a rock dam will rise
  • A Walter Benjamin Memorial is erected at Portbou, sculpted by Dani Karavan.  This charged landscape  is the subject of Michael Taussig's essay, 'Walter Benjamin's Grave: A Profane Illumination'.   >> Walter Benjamin's Grave


  • W. G. Sebald's influential The Rings of Saturn (it appeared in English translation in 1998)Among many artists inspired by it, there is Grant Gee, whose film Patience (After Sebald) retraces Sebald's journey round Suffolk.   >> After Nature
  • 'The People's Choice' art project in which Alex Melamid and Vitaly Komar found that of 15 countries, 11 produce, as their most wanted painting, a landscape.   >> Ditchling Beacon
  • Massimo Vitali's photographs at Viareggio show bathers overlooked by watch towers and cranes, whilst in another image of Rosignano from the same year, the sunbathers are oblivious to the cooling towers of a power station behind them.   >> Views from the Internet


  • Seamus Heaney's 'Postscript', on a drive to the Flaggy Shore: 'the ocean on one side is wild / With foam and glitter, / and inland among stones / The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit / By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans.'   >> The Burren



  • Whilst sketching in the Himalayas, Xu Bing has the idea for his Landscripts series that combine Chinese characters into landscape compositions.  'I sat on a mountain and, facing a real mountain, I wrote 'mountain' (you might also say I painted a mountain...)'   >> Mountain Rhythm and Mountain Plateau
  • Peter Doig paints Country Rock, showing a contemporary non-space with the painted archway under the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto.  Another painting from this year shows an empty basketball court, The Heart of Old San Juan.   >> The Heart of Old San Juan
  • Roger Deakin publishes Waterlog: A Swimmer's Journey Through Britain.   >> The fields of Ennor
  • Roni Horn's Becoming a Landscape which connects close-up portraits with shots of geothermic pools in Iceland.  >> Becoming a landscape