Gardens and works of art often go hand in hand because gardening is considered an art and because many artists find inspiration in gardens. The most basic message they can provide is safety, trust, and hope as they may stand in for the beginning of life, the symbolism of love and passion, and the space of comfort and dependence that comes with it.
About the time when private house gardens in a relatively urban setting were famous and accessible to the middle class, during the 19th century, artists began to find unique inspiration in gardens. Greens, up to this point, served either utilitarian or aristocratic purposes. Suddenly, regular people could plan and maintain gardens for their own aesthetic and recreational purposes in addition to their practical use in producing food.
Several artists developed lovely gardens to have a pleasant natural subject to paint. The Impressionists' penchant for bright colors, sweeping brushstrokes, and a love of nature made gardens a frequent subject for their paintings. Monet's garden is perhaps the most well-known and well-recognized among all works of art. Claude Monet is often the archetype of the painter who used his private garden as a studio. Many artists found inspiration in the ability to shape their surroundings and paint in Plein air, as well as the garden's ability to provide a constantly shifting array of in-season plants and flowers.
The garden painting illustrates how to make the most of what we have and how inspiration can be found in the simplest of places, like the garden outside our front doors.
The most renowned and prolific garden artists include Claude Monet (French, 1840 -1926), Henri Le Sidaner (French, 1862 -1939), Henri Martin (French, 1860 -1943), Henri Lebasque (French, 1865 -1937), Max Liebermann (German, 1847 -1935), Santiago Rusiñol Prats (Spanish, 1861 -1931), Camille Pissarro (French, 1830 -1903), John Singer Sargent (American, 1856 -1925), Frederick Childe Hassam (American, 1859 -1935), Edvard Munch (Norwegian, 1863 -1944), among others.