Annapolis Heritage Society | Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

The Painted Room Interpretive Tour

The Ideal Landscape

Examine the mountains and waterfall in this image. The artist used imagination to create an ideal landscape – in essence taking many aspects found in nature and perhaps the surroundings and rearranging them in order to make a picture-perfect image. This tradition in landscape painting was popularized by French artists in Italy such as Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin during the 17th century and was carried over to England with the Picturesque movement in art. In these ideal landscapes the view was ordered with a foreground, midground, and background very much like stage scenery. Usually the sides of the painting would have large rocks or trees to frame the view and lead the eye into the center of the composition. Often figures or animals would be placed in the foreground to draw one’s attention and to provide scale.