Without any iota of exaggeration, there is probably not one human being who cannot be entranced by the sheer power of plain water cascading down a steep drop. The phenomenon cannot be captured by the self-explanatory, simple term – “waterfall”.
Waterfalls are magnificent monuments created by nature herself. Each waterfall is incredibly beautiful and amazingly breath-taking in its own right. It is no wonder that many artists have often chosen to portray this challenging subject that requires great skill and talent.
And painters have successfully transformed their fascination into equally breath-taking works of art. To give you a sneak peek of how magnificent waterfalls are, we’ve master-curated 10 glorious waterfalls Paintings that bring the splendor of nature onto canvases.
Considered to be one of the most popular waterfalls, the Niagara falls that lie between the US and Canada have been best captured by Frederic Edwin Church. He was one of the best American landscape painters who was well-known for his realistic depictions of natural beauty. The Niagara painted by him in 1857, shows the iconic Horseshoe Falls that is the largest of the three waterfalls of Niagara.
Moving from the American continent to Europe, the kingdom of Norway is home to many tall and majestic waterfalls. The Seven Sisters is a painting of a waterfall by Hans Dahl that shows the 410-meter tall waterfall which has seven streams. The work shows the waterfalls in the background of the fjord.
The Swiss waterfall that drops down a sheer 297 meters is located in the Bernese Highlands of Switzerland. Albert Bierstadt, a German-American painter, enjoyed painting landscapes and is more well-known for his depictions of the American West. This painting, however, was one of his few works that captured the scenic beauty of Switzerland.
Bierstadt who was part of the Hudson River School of painters, based in New York produced a brilliant painting of a waterfall in 1880, The Falls of St. Anthony. Interestingly, the artist has depicted the waterfall in its original form, before its discovery by the Western world.
Located on the Upper Mississippi River, waterfalls had been considered sacred by the Native Americans. The landscape painting also shows the native Indians and a lone figure wearing a hat, who could be Father Louis Hennepin, a Catholic priest who discovered the natural wonder in 1680.
Painted in 1870, the luminist style of Bierstadt is delightfully evident in this serene artwork. Also, there are two other paintings in the same location by Bierstadt. This painting received thunderous applause for the immaculate beautification of the waterfall that dazzles you every time you have a look at it.
Another American artist who belonged to the Hudson River School was the painter and print-maker Thomas Moran. Like his contemporary, Albert Bierstadt, he was also part of the Rocky Mountain School of landscape painters. The marvelous painting of the magnificent Shoshone Falls never fails to amaze its audience with the feeling of almost hearing the sounds of water rushing down the ‘Niagara of the West’.
This artwork is significant not only for its unparalleled aesthetics but also for transforming a rocky, wild, unfriendly terrain into the Yellowstone National park. The waterfall painting earned fame and financial success for Thomas Moran and also gave birth to a second version, which was equally popular.
While the first painting was completed in 1872, the second artwork was completed in The golden valley and the swelling waters of the Lower Falls captivated public interest so much that the government was inspired to make the world’s first-ever national park!
The waterfall painting here is yet another masterpiece by Thomas “Yellowstone” Moran. Completed in 1905, this masterpiece depicts the lower tiers of the Cascade Falls located in the Yosemite National park. The brilliance of this artwork lies in the effective use of lighting that brings the crashing water and sprays realism.
The second generation of the Hudson River School of artists bore witness to fine works by another American landscape painter and engraver- John Frederick Kensett. The Bash-Bish Falls which is the highest waterfall in Massachusetts was painted in 1855 to portray a view from the lower pool. His craftsmanship is visible in the perfect blending of pigments to capture the uneven rocks and his ability to convey the different textures of water.
The last painting on this list takes the viewer down to the calm, gurgling stream with a small waterfall. Rendered by yet another American landscape painter Frederick Arthur Bridgman, his bright colors and keen attention to detail make the oil painting look more like a photograph. Known to be an Orientalist painter, Bridgman is more famous for his depictions of North African landscapes.
The waterfalls are the incredible nature’s wonder that can depict the serenity as well as the aggression of nature. No matter what the artist chooses to portray, one thing for certain is that the masterpieces make up for great pieces of decorations to accentuate the ambiance of your abode.