Exploring Places

Artists are often inspired by places where they live or travel, from rural landscapes to bustling cities. This chapter looks at artists who painted familiar places close to home and others who were drawn to lands faraway.

Rembrandt van Rijn often sketched the landscape of his native Holland. Canaletto became famous for the paintings he made of Venice, which he sold as souvenirs to visiting tourists. Jasper Francis Cropsey celebrated the Hudson River Valley, particularly its colorful autumn, while both Thomas Moran and George Catlin explored the American West. Henri Matisse and André Derain spent time in the south of France, experimenting with ways to capture the spectacular light of that region. George Bellows was captivated by the energy of a growing New York City.

As you explore the artists in this chapter, think about how they describe the unique features of landscapes and cityscapes.

Rembrandt van Rijn
1606–1669
Dutch

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Canaletto and Giovanni Paolo Panini
1697–1768 (Canaletto); 1691–1765 (Panini)
Italian

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Jasper Francis Cropsey
1823–1900
American

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Thomas Moran and George Catlin
1837–1926 (Moran); 1796–1872 (Catlin)
American

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Henri Matisse and André Derain
1869–1954 (Matisse); 1880–1954 (Derain)
French

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George Bellows
1882–1925
American

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Studying Nature

Questioning Traditions

Playing with Space

Overview

Download PDFs:

Edgar Degas (8MB)

Alexander Calder (6MB)

Dan Flavin (3MB)

Martin Puryear (6MB)