Vintage Landscapes in the Public Domain

Free British vintage landscape from the early 20th-century public domain

The public domain is packed with brilliant landscapes!

You have masterworks from the Hudson River School and masterpieces from landscape artists like George Inness, Robert Scott Duncanson, and Harriet Cany Peale housed in museums across the country.

Their landscapes are simply amazing. And so are the many hidden gems in the public domain.

In this post, you’ll find 17 vintage landscapes from naturalist journals, sketchbooks, and art lessons in the public domain. All curated from the following public domain works: The development of British landscape painting in water-colours (1918), A Naturalist’s Sketch Book (1919), The Royal Botanic Gardens (1908), and a watercolor lesson book from 1812.

Vintage Landscapes from the 19th-Century

These landscapes are curated from the 19th-century art lesson book, A Series of Progressive Lessons, Intended to Elucidate the Art of Landscape Painting in Water Colours, published in 1812.

You can access the entire book for free online from such sites as archive.org and openlibrary.org. The full version also includes rough pencil sketches!

Naturalist Landscape from Archibald Thornburn

The following public domain landscape is from Archibald Thornburn’s Naturalist Sketchbook that he published in 1919. This is such a great source, so I’ll definitely be revisiting it later!

This isn’t his first appearance on this site. You can find his colorful illustrations of mammals in the animal section and this post from a couple years ago.

Botanical Gardens from the Early 20th-Century

One of my favorite places to hang out are botanical gardens. I was lucky enough to have a great one nearby when I lived in California.

These following vintage landscapes are from the public domain book, The Royal Botanic Gardens KEW, published in 1908. This book documents the history of London’s Kew gardens. The first landscape you see in this post is also from this book.

More Vintage Watercolor Landscapes!

This last set of vintage landscapes comes from the public domain art history text, The development of British landscape painting in water-colours, published in 1918.

The book is available for free online where you can learn more about specific British landscape artists of the time.

These vintage landscapes will be hanging out in the nature section, where you can find even more landscapes, critters, plants, and more.

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