Painting

Hello Autumn! Best Autumnal Paintings

Isla Phillips-Ewen 23 September 2023 min Read

As Autumn slowly begins, delve with us into paintings that center the season. Along the way discover other DailyArt Magazine articles to get you excited for those red and golden hues.

Autumn Leaves and Trees

Autumn paintings: Georgia O’Keeffe, Autumn Leaves, 1924, private collection. WikiArt.

Georgia O’Keeffe, Autumn Leaves, 1924, private collection. WikiArt.

The most evocative part of Autumn is the metamorphosing color of trees. David Hockney regularly returns to paint the same scene throughout the changing year. Below is a taste of Hockney’s vision of the season, evoking the excitement when the leaves start to turn golden and the joy at the sound of their crunch towards the end of Autumn.

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On the other side of the globe, Japan celebrates Autumn with the magnificent red of the maple tree in particular. See how the explosive red is matched with a fierce river? Or how the delicate shape of the leaf shows of the red tones?

Autumn paintings: Gensou Okuda, Oirase Ravine (Autumn),  1983, Yamatane Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan.

Gensou Okuda, Oirase Ravine (Autumn),  1983, Yamatane Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan.

Autumn paintings: Higashiyama Kaii, Autumn Colors, 1986, Yamatane Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan.

Higashiyama Kaii, Autumn Colors, 1986, Yamatane Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan.

More stunning leaves to wade through:

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Autumnal Flowers

As well as the beautiful maple, discover delicate Japanese autumnal flowers, such as those in front of a full moon by Utagawa Hiroshige ( 歌川 広重), who is known as the last master of woodblock printing, or those in the compositional arrangement by Sakai Hōitsu. You can see more autumnal Japanese works in this article. The waka poem in Kenzan’s painting reads:

A thousand flower varieties disperse their collective charms of scent and color through the field’s dew.

Translation of a Waka poem above a painting by Ogata Kenzan

Autumn Flowerbaskets, 18th century.

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Autumn Harvest

Apples, pumpkins, chestnuts… The fruit and flavors of the season feature abundantly in art. See for yourself:

Autumn paintings: Roman School, Still Life with Fruit on a Stone Ledge, c. 1605-1610, private collection, on loan to Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, USA. Wikimedia Commons (public domain).

Roman School, Still Life with Fruit on a Stone Ledge, c. 1605-1610, private collection, on loan to Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, USA. Wikimedia Commons (public domain).

Autumn paintings: Paolo Barbieri, Basket of Chestnuts, Cheese, Mushroom and Fruit, c. 1640, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Paolo Barbieri, Basket of Chestnuts, Cheese, Mushroom and Fruit, c. 1640, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Be sure to explore our article on autumnal still lifes!

Vast Autumn Landscapes

Trot across the globe with this abundant selection of autumnal landscapes from a variety of countries.

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Autumn paintings: Li Keran, Red Over the Mountains as if the Forests are Dyed, 1963, China Modern Contemporary Art, Beijing, China.

Li Keran, Red Over the Mountains as if the Forests are Dyed, 1963, China Modern Contemporary Art, Beijing, China.

Two great masters of traditional 20th-century Chinese painting, Qi Baishi and Huang Binhong, are the tutors of Li Keran. This painting shows a river and a flow of bright red trees cascading down a mountain. It takes inspiration from the epic poem Qin Yuan Chun-Changhsa by Mao. The powerful panoramic image reflects the pride of the period that saw rapid development in the country.

Autumn paintings: Helmer Osslund, Autumn, 1907, National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden.

Helmer Osslund, Autumn, 1907, National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden.

In contrast to the vivid scene of southern China this depiction of Abisko in Sweden features a totally still mountain lake. The birches at the front of the image have shed most of their golden leaves. Which vision of this magnificent season do you prefer?

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