Seton’s fame as a wildlife artist came in part from his ecological scene setting landscape backgrounds. His landscape drawings and paintings without animals are also highly accomplished. In this posting we will look at drawings.

I have selected a several images featuring forest settings, oftentimes with reflecting pools depicting serene beauty. Few of these are dated, although I suspect most of them are nineteenth century. Forest scenes are likely Canadian. The watercolors in the accompanying Painted Landscapes blog could have been painted in France. But few of them include location information. As a result, we must learn to enjoy the images without knowing as much as we might like. Click on an individual image to enlarge. (Artists should be kinder to curators by providing the particulars so as to make interpretation easier in subsequent centuries.)

Were they created in the field or in the studio? I don’t know that either, but I like to think of Seton sitting quietly in a woodland setting, capturing a moment of nature’s perfection for us to enjoy all these many decades later.

Seton Comment on Trees

Here is a quote from the preface of Seton’s Woodland Tales (1905):

“As I write, I look from a loved window, across a landscape that I love, and my eye rests on a tall beautiful pine planted with my own hands years ago. It is a mass of green fringes, with gem-like tips of buds and baby cones, beautiful, exquisitely beautiful, whether seen from afar as a green spire, or viewed close at hand as jewelry. It is beautiful, fragile and—unimportant, as the world sees it; yet through its wind-waved mass one can get little glimpses of the thing that backs it all, the storm-defying shaft, the enduring rigid living truck of massive timber that gives it the nobility of strength, and adds value to the rest; sometimes it must be sought for, but it always is there, ennobling the lesser pretty things.”

Many others have thought so as well. Click here for a selection of pine tree poetry by various authors.    

(All image rights to Seton artwork reserved by the Academy for the Love of Learning.)

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