The following seven painters are considered by many to be the most influential landscape artists in history. They paved the way for art as we know it today. These important artists have influenced painters and even landscape photographers of the 21st century.

In this article, we share with you seven of the best-known landscape artists in history to inspire your next piece of landscape art.

1. Vincent van Gogh

Perhaps the most famous on our list, Dutch-born, Vincent van Gogh played a major role in the Post-Impressionist movement and Western art. Known throughout the art world as one of the greatest landscape artists, Van Gogh spent the greater part of his life in the French countryside surrounded by nature.

He was inspired by his surroundings creating such works as “The Starry Night” (1889). Using bold colors he created thousands of pieces in just 10 short years. He laid the foundations for modern artists today. Sadly he passed away at the young age of 37 after suffering from mental illness for most of his life.

2. Claude Monet

French-born influential landscape artist, Claude Monet led the French Impressionist movement. So much so the word “Impressionism” was actually coined by Monet when he painted Sunrise of 1872. He is best known for his oil paintings “The Series of Water Lilies”(1920-1926) that fill a wall from floor to ceiling and were inspired by his time spent in Giverny.

Just like Van Gogh, nature played a major influence in his landscape paintings and Impressionist style. His work still captivates audiences today, especially through his use of pastels and the effects of light and color.

3. John Constable

Following Romantic tradition, British artist John Constable emphasized individualism using nature and emotion. Mostly inspired by the landscape surrounding his home in Dedham Vale, his paintings are still some of the most prized in British art.

Instead of following in his father’s footsteps, he quit the family business and attended the Royal Academy Schools in 1799. Painters today regard him as the artist who revolutionized landscape paintings. His most recognizable title is “The Hay Wain”(1821).

4. Thomas Cole

Thomas Cole was an Anglo-American painter known for his landscape and historical paintings. He also founded The Hudson River School which played a major role in developing the landscape movement of the 19th century.

His most well-known painting is “The Oxbow”(1835). His school would go onto inspire a generation of American landscape painters through its romantic style that celebrated contemplation in nature and plein air painting. The name of the school was derived from its location in the Hudson River Valley.

5. Camille Pissarro

Well known as the “Dean of the Impressionist painters” in France, Camille Pissarro was an important figure within the movement of landscape painting. His landscapes often depicted peasants and changing seasons while focusing on beautiful lighting.

He would later become friends with artists like Edgar Degas and Claude Monet while he developed his own Neo-Impressionist style. He would go on to exhibit his most famous works in Paris including “The Boulevard Montmartre at Night”(1897).

6. Paul Cézanne

Like Monet, Paul Cézanne was born in France and paved the way for radical 20th-century art. He enjoyed combining 20th-century Cubism with 19th century Impressionism techniques. He influenced many other famous landscape artists including Pablo Picasso. His father was a prominent banker, and he was expected to follow in his footsteps but instead, he ran away to Paris to study painting.

Like many other artists, he suffered from mental illness and had difficulties completing school. During his lifetime his work was misunderstood and disliked. It wasn’t until after his death that he became one of the most world-renowned landscape artists of his time. You will recognize his painting of the “Large Bathers”(1898).

7. Caspar David Friedrich

Landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich was born in 1774 in Germany. He is still considered one of the most important landscape artists to come out of Germany. Some of his favorite subjects were Gothic ruins, night skies, and early-morning light.

Like many of the other influential landscape artists on our list, he enjoyed painting nature and blending in allegories to tell stories in his works. If you look closely, you will find tiny figures painted into many of his still-life landscapes. His works didn’t become popular until after his death.


Hopefully you enjoyed our list of the 7 most influential landscape artists in history! Indeed there are other important landscape painters who didn’t make this list. But these gentlemen broke the social norms during their time which helped us to find our own creative expressions today. Maybe they have inspired you to try your hand at your own artistic talents.

If you don’t feel you are a very talented painter you can apply these same techniques to landscape photography. Many nature photographers use these same ideas with a camera!