Determining the top 10 masters' watercolour landscape paintings is a very subjective process. Watercolour landscapes became something of a fad in early 19th-century England, so many masters' watercolour landscape paintings are from that period. There are, however, a number of landscape paintings from different eras and countries that are considered just as important.
Alexander Cozens, "The Cloud," 1770
Alexander Cozens was one of the first and foremost watercolour landscape painters. He was an accomplished teacher and a published author on watercolour painting technique. "The Cloud" is one of his earliest studies in watercolour.
William Gilpin, "Penrith Castle," 1772
William Gilpin was a Chruch of England vicar and painter who originated the idea of the "picturesque." In his career, he published papers on determining what landscape is the most worthy of painting. "Penrith Castle" is one of his most famous watercolour landscapes, used to illustrate his ruminations on the picturesque.
Francis Towne, "The Tarpeian Rock," 1780
Francis Townes is another famous English watercolour landscape painter. "The Tarpeian Rock" is his study of the ancient execution site of ancient Roman rulers. He is also known for his series of paintings of the Lake District of North Wales.
Thomas Girtin, "Jedburgh Abbey," 1798-99
"Jedburgh Abbey" is one of the most famous watercolour landscapes by this prolific artist. Featuring a river view of the famous and historical abbey, this painting is said to have been one of the first in the burgeoning Romantic watercolour genre.
JMW Turner, "Ivy Bridge," 1813
A close friend of Thomas Girtin, JMW Turner continued the tradition of Romantic watercolour landscapes. Known as the "painter of light," he is considered to be one of the masters of British landscape painting. "The Ivy Bridge" is a landscape study of a small region in Devon, England.
Richard Parkes Bonington, "Landscape Near Quilleboeuf,"1824--1825
Richard Parkes Bonington continued the tradition of Romantic landscape painting. Inspired by the works of the masters before him, his work was considered very modern for its time. "Landscape Near Quilleboeuf" is a study of a region in Northern France.
John Constable, "Stonehenge," 1835
Known primarily for his landscape paintings of the Dedham Vale in East England, "Stonehenge" remains his most memorable work. The painting depicts the ancient monument flanked by rainbows. He was also considered a leading Romantic watercolourist.
John Singer Sargent, "Karer See," 1914
The painter of over 2,000 watercolours in his lifetime, John Singer Sargent is attributed with bringing the watercolour tradition into the 20th century. Though he mostly worked in portraits, "Karer See" is one of his famous watercolour landscapes.
Edward Hopper, "The Mansard Roof," 1923
Edward Hopper worked prolifically in both watercolours and oils, his subject matter varying from historical portraits to slice-of-life scenes to landscapes. Hopper is best known for his oil painting "Nighthawks at the Diner." "The Mansard Roof" is an important lesser-known watercolour landscape study.
Richard Diebenkorn, "Untitled (Albuquerque)," 1951
Richard Diebenkorn is a famous 20th-century American painter most commonly associated with the Abstract Impressionist movement. Though his watercolour landscapes subscribed to this school of thought, "Untitled (Albuquerque)" is considered one of the best late-era watercolour landscapes.
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