Alpine Inspiration

At the end of March I’ll be teaching a plein air landscape painting course in the Swiss Alps. The class is organized by the Alpine Atelier in Gryon, Switzerland. I’ve always loved the views in Switzerland and this particular area has been one of my favorite places to paint.

Here are a few of my favorite Alpine landscape paintings by historic artists.

Edward Theodore Compton was a British painter, trained in Munich (probably at the same time as Duveneck). He was an avid mountaineer and climbed 300 mountains, including 27 first accents. He settled in Bavaria and traveled the world painting mountain views.

Edward Theodore Compton

Edward Theodore Compton. The Aletschhorn in Switzerland

Edward Theodore Compton. Grossglockner.

Edward Theodore Compton. Grossglockner.

His children were also painters, and his son Edward Harrison Compton produced some of the most incredible landscape paintings I’ve ever seen. He unfortunately suffered from polio in his late 20s and had to give up the Alpine views. His English and Sicilian views are equally stunning though. The BBC has three here and this German auction house has more (unfortunately small) images.

Edward Harrison Compton

Edward Harrison Compton. Monte Rosa and Lyskamm seen from Gornergrat.

Edward Harrison Compton. Kirchstein

Edward Harrison Compton. Kirchstein.

Eugen Felix Prosper Bracht was a Swiss painter. His dates are 1842-1921. The Athenaeum shows he painted a lot in the Middle East, but it’s hard to find any information about him online. For a country with so few well-known painters, they should step up a bit and promote these amazing works.

Eugen Felix Prosper Bracht. The Matterhorn.

Eugen Felix Prosper Bracht. The Matterhorn from the West.

Luckily the Americans are never short of promotion. Here’s a great Sargent from the Simplon Pass.

John Singer Sargent. Simplon Pass.

John Singer Sargent. Simplon Pass.

And Edgar Payne.

Edgar Payne. Saint Gervais.

Edgar Payne. Saint Gervais.

Isaac Levitan painted some Alpine views while traveling in Switzerland in 1897.

Isaac Levitan. Mont Blanc.

Isaac Levitan. Mont Blanc. (Apologies for the image quality).

Issac Levitan. The Alps in Spring.

Issac Levitan. The Alps in Spring.

I’ll post more when I have time. In the meanwhile, John Mitchell Gallery in London always has a great collection of Alpine scenes. You can see this years selection here.

Mountain Paintings has more Alpine art on their website as well.

Ten books on painting

books1These are the ten books on art which have had the most influence on me as a painter over the years. I haven’t listed them in any particular order. I should mention that these are all books for reading, without color reproductions. Clicking on the titles takes you to the (U.S.) page for each book.

The two children’s books which I still remember from when I was a small child are  Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book: Make a World by Ed Emberley and Frederick by Leo Lionni. If you want to keep your child from becoming an artist, these are two books you should avoid.

If anyone has other great art books to add, please put them in the comments.