Sunset is one of the most beautiful times of day. With the tapestry of colors and ambiance of this time, it’s no surprise that there has been plenty of sunset art over the years. These sunset oil paintings are gorgeous thanks not only to their already impressive subject matter but the style and personality that the artists inject into their work.
1. San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk, Claude Oscar Monet
Claude Monet is one of the most distinct painters there is. This makes sense as he is one of the most famous members of the age of Impressionism. His sunset painting named San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk takes a look at the titular San Giorgio Maggiore monastery-island in the evening.
The painting uses the iconic Impressionist style to depict a number of colors. There’s clear definition to show the sky as it fades from a bright blue to a deep red. This is also reflected and refracted in the water below.
2. Twilight In the Wilderness, Frederic Edwin Church
If there’s something that stands out about Twilight In the Wilderness by Frederic Edwin Church, it’s the rich colors used in the piece. The sunset sky is filled with deep reds and oranges set over the fading blue of the daytime sky.
The painting follows the interest of the time of looking at nature without human influence. As such, Church’s painting features a landscape as it is naturally without the addition of any man-made structures. It also doesn’t feature any human subjects in the painting.
3. Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, Thomas Moran
The title Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came might sound familiar in literary circles as well as in the visual arts. Before Thomas Moran put a brush to canvas, the famous poet Robert Browning wrote a poem of the same name in his 1885 collection Men and Women.
The poem tells the story of the main character journeying to a tower. It’s considered unique among his works because it’s fairly complex with a slow build and a deep look into the hero’s mentality throughout the journey. Moran’s sunset painting of the same name demonstrates a snapshot of this story with a dramatic blend of colors.
4. Sunset, Joseph Mallord William Turner
While dark or bright colors are often used to represent the palette of the sky at sunset, there is also a gentler side of this time of day. That’s exactly what Joseph Mallord William Turner aimed to capture in his painting simply titled Sunset. The painting trades in the dark reds and vibrant oranges of many other artists in exchange for soft yellows, pinks, purples, and deep blues. The result is a touching and calming scene and one of the most beautiful sunset oil paints to end the day with.
5. Willows at Sunset, Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh is another artist with a very recognizable style and technique. As a Post-Impressionism painter, he still utilizes the distinct brush strokes that the style calls for. He uses a palette mostly made up of bright colors for the piece with a heavy focus on warm colors such as shades of yellow, red, and orange. However, the landscape is tied together and calmed by the cool greens of the grass and the grays used in the trees.
6. Against the Sunset, Frederic Remington
The sunset has also served as a backdrop for adventure over the course of history. The term “ride off into the sunset” has become a common trope at this point with themes of exploration and romance. This sense of adventure is what Frederic Remington tapped into when he created Against the Sunset. In it, the subject is a person on horseback juxtaposed against a sunlit sky.
7. Our Banner In the Sky, Frederic Edwin Church
The daytime sky fading into sunset is a popular subject choice among artists. Frederic Edwin Church took a different creative direction with his Our Banner In the Sky artwork. Instead of the traditional approach, Church painted the sunset fading into night. This is evident by the design choice of a star-filled sky behind the red and orange tone indicative of sunset.
8. Boston Common at Twilight, Frederick Childe Hassam
Frederick Childe Hassam took an interesting approach with his painting Boston Common at Twilight because it isn’t necessarily a nature-focused or landscape piece. Rather, it shows a more heavily populated environment featuring man-made buildings and human subjects walking around and interacting in a twilight setting.
The end of the day is a relaxing and beautiful time. This beauty has been captured time and time again by a plethora of artist using an equally wide array of styles and techniques. These sunset oil paintings represent only a fraction of what this particular subject matter has to offer. There are plenty of other paintings to explore and admire if you’re interested in looking further.
Which of these are your favorite sunset oil paintings???
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