29 Mar 2023
24 Jul 2023



What is a landscape?


This is the question that the Louvre-Lens asks in this exhibition, approaching it from an artistic perspective. From antiquity to the present day, through painting, engraving, photography and film, artists have re-enacted the myths of creation in their own way, representing sky, earth, sea, light and darkness.


The frescoes where the mythical forces of the Roman universe rumble, the fleeting mists of Chinese mountain and water paintings (shanshui), the dream paintings of the Australian Aborigines, the thousand and one views of Japanese prints, the impressionist sunrises, all these works whisper messages made of light and shadow. 

This coded language is based on what the 17th century called the "ornaments of nature": trees, plants, rocks and streams. In order to decipher it, the exhibition dives into the sources of artistic representations and explores different types of landscapes and visions of nature. 

A nature that is in turn powerful and all-embracing, or fragile and threatened, from the 18th century onwards, when what is called the "feeling of nature" is imposed, while the clouds of the industrial revolution begin to spread.


In this world, now totally transformed by human activity, the theme of landscape is of burning relevance. Installations, photography, video or digital art invent new universes and demonstrate, if it were necessary, to what extent art and landscape are linked.


General information

Musée du Louvre-Lens
99 Rue Paul Bert, 62300 Lens



Marie Lavandier, Director of the Louvre-Lens

Vincent Pomarède, General Curator of Heritage at the Musée du Louvre

Marie Gord, territorial curator at the Louvre-Lens