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View of Powerscourt Waterfall (c. 1760) by George Barret (1728/32-84)
Photo (c) National Gallery of Ireland

Painting landscapes has always been popular with Irish artists. It became very popular with the aristocracy in the 17th and 18th centuries. They hired artists to paint pictures of their houses and estates.

In the early 20th century, landscape painting became a way for artists to show their Irish identity. This was when Ireland was seeking independence from the United Kingdom (UK). Many artists painted 'typical' Irish scenes from the West of Ireland because they were so different from the way of life in the UK.

A Morning in a City (1937) by Jack Yeats (1871-1957)
Estate of Jack B Yeats. All rights reserved, DACS 2009

Jack B. Yeats was one of the few artists in the early 20th century to paint city landscapes. City landscapes became more popular in the late 20th century.

Today, many artists show their social, political or environmental views through landscape paintings.