November 2014

Forestry and painting

Trees and woodlands have inspired artists since prehistoric times. In the nineteenth and twentieth Centuries, many artists have used tree motifs in their paintings, several such as Van Gogh and Mondrian basing a significant part of their work on them. Andy Moffat has recently attempted to explore some of these paintings from a forestry rather than artistic perspective – the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) website now contains links to a selection of paintings, and to a paper which discusses the light that they shed on trees, forests, forestry practice and the broader range of goods and services that forests offered then, and now. The paper argues that students of forestry and arboriculture have much to learn from the study of fine art, and that art historians, too, might gain from interaction with foresters. The RFS web page with links to the selected paintings can be accessed HERE, and the paper ‘Forestry and painting – how the two might shed light on each other’ can be downloaded from HERE