Field to Studio

Landscape painting in the Americas started with direct observation and sketching in the field. Driven by a desire to depict some of the hemisphere’s most remote and distinctive sites, painters undertook arduous journeys to reach these faraway places. They often made detailed notes and drawings en route, filling sketchbooks with their observations of plants, animals and topography.

Later, in their studios, artists turned their sketches into ambitious composite paintings. Art and science came together as natural history was reimagined in highly detailed works, which were artists’ interpretations of places rather than exact representations.