What Constitutes Good Landscape Painting? | Boris Koller & Jan-Ove Tuv | The Cave of Apelles

Should you paint landscapes from imagination or climb the highest mountains to observe nature from a birds eye perspective?
Boris Koller and Jan-Ove Tuv sit down to talk about their experience, how and where the youngsters go wrong, and the quality of painters like Vermeer, Lars Hertervig, and John Constable.

Chapters from this episode:
00:03 Symmetry in painting is death
02:25 Paint what you know
06:21 Why not to use mirrors when you paint
14:28 Echoing or repeating certain elements
16:13 Inventing landscapes
19:50 Structure before rhythm and imbalance
22:22 Horizons are the main problem
24:13 Structure before emotion
28:55 Vermeer: the best landscape composer
30:44 Hertervig’s “Borg Island”: Dramatize and bind together
38:12 Painting from memory, a photograph, or the motif itself?
43:10 Hertervig unifies sky and earth and “flattens” the image
50:26 No sketches beforehand, like Caravaggio
53:08 Place important elements in the dark!
53:48 Animating nature
55:55 How to paint sunsets



This episode was filmed and edited by Bork Nerdrum.
The centerpiece was a 19th century reproduction of G. F. Watts’ Hope.

Fergus Ryan
Shaun Roberts
Matthias Proy
Eivind Josten
Børge Moe
Dean Anthony
Alastair Blain
Anders Berge Christensen
Erik Lasky
Iver Ukkestad
Jack Entz Warner
Jared Fountain
Jon Harald Aspheim
Marion Bu-Pedersen
Maurice Robbins
Misty DeLaine
Richard Barrett
Stacey Evangelista
Trym Jordahl
Yngve Hellan


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  • Apelles was asked why he touched and retouched his pictures with so much care, to which he replied:
    "I paint for eternity"