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Studying Nature

Slowing down to look closely at nature is an art. By examining the colors and shapes of birds or flowers, observing the effects of light at different moments, or noticing the ways a landscape can change over time, artists find inspiration in the natural world. This chapter introduces artists who are captivated by nature and study it closely.

John Constable depicted his native English countryside with fresh attention to atmosphere. Martin Johnson Heade and John James Audubon traveled widely to document birds in their natural habitats. Claude Monet cultivated his private gardens as subjects to contemplate, painting them in changing seasons. Georgia O’Keeffe found beautiful abstractions in the details of a single flower. Andy Goldsworthy uses natural materials to create sculptures that often become part of nature.

As you study the artists in this chapter, think about how artists help us see the natural world in new ways.

card-wivenhoe-park

John Constable
1776–1837
British
Download PDF (6.6MB)

card-cattleya-orchid

Martin Johnson Heade and John James Audubon 
1819–1904 (Heade); 1785–1851 (Audubon)
American
Download PDF (7.2MB)

card-japanese-footbridge

Claude Monet 
1840–1926
French
Download PDF (14.9MB)

card-jack-pulpit-iv

Georgia O'Keeffe 
1887–1986
American
Download PDF (10.9MB)

card-roof

Andy Goldsworthy 
born 1956
British
Download PDF (6MB)

Paperback editions of An Eye for Art are available for purchase.

Overview

Download PDFs:

Edgar Degas (8MB)

Alexander Calder (6MB)

Dan Flavin (3MB)

Martin Puryear (6MB)