Landscape Vs. Portrait

Many fine arts come in one of two traditional shapes: landscape or portrait. Paintings, photographs, and many mixed media artworks are described as either landscape or portrait. When an artist considers a landscape vs. portrait orientation for their artwork, it is a form of self-expression that can significantly impact the overall artwork. 

Both landscape and portrait artworks have their unique value, but some people will have a preference for one or another, especially if you’re looking for a painting to hang in a specific location. Each of these orientations caters to styles, audiences, and tastes. Today, let’s dive into the differences and uniqueness of landscape art and portrait art forms.

What’s the Difference Between Landscape and Portrait?

Some might argue that the significant difference between landscape and portrait is orientation. But it is deeper than that. The orientation difference does exist, but that is just a practical consideration in photography or printing. The choice between landscape and portrait is primarily artistic and will have a significant impact on the artwork.

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When drawing from life or taking a photograph, a portrait picture will capture different elements than a landscape shot would. Therefore, the artwork will be fundamentally different, even if two artists draw the same scene, one in portrait mode, the other in landscape.

Certain styles of art typically lean towards one orientation. For example, traditional fine artists tend to draw landscape art widthwise; this is because the world or the background environment is perceived that way. When we look at the scenery, we tend to look at it in a panoramic vision. Therefore, landscape art tends to choose the wider landscape dimension.

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Similarly, when we look at a person, we look more in a perpendicular vision – or straight. Therefore, the portrait art is vertical and not broad. Ultimately there are no rules on which is better or worse; a landscape scene can be drawn in portrait orientation and vice versa when it comes to dimension. 

Coming to the art form, it relies more on the subject. In landscape paintings and art, the subject is the overall environment, or you could say the background. It could be anything, the sky, the space, the rural setting, or urban buildings with the sun shining brightly over them. 

While the subject in portrait paintings or drawings is a person, be it a single person or a group of people. But it doesn’t mean in any way that in portrait art, the background doesn’t exist. The main focus is a person, but the environment is there. 

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Landscape and portrait orientations are often less important in abstract artworks. Some collectors may even choose to display abstract artwork in an orientation that is not as the artist intended. Other subject matters can also be captured in either orientation. 

Which Is Better: Landscape or Portrait?

This question is just like asking whether oranges are better than apples. Both fine art styles are different, and each serves its own purpose. 

Benefits of Landscape Art

Landscape artworks can bring nature to you in a format that feels similar to how we perceive it with our own eyes. It can be very visually pleasing, calming, and comforting. 

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Painting a landscape scene in landscape orientation can transport the viewer to the location and inspire awe and wanderlust. 

Benefits of Portrait Art

Before the advent of cameras and photography, portrait art was a big thing. It was a way of identification. Many artists relied on portrait art to make money as there were no photo studios before the 19th century. Portrait artists also used to draw sketches for the police to help them identify the criminals and suspects. It was typical for upper-class and affluent families to commission portraits of their family members. 

Today, portrait art is still relevant because many historical figures, celebrities, and personalities are immortalized by their portraits. We know the status, lifestyle, and fashion of many past people due to these portraits. Portraits are now available to the masses using portrait photography. 

While having your portrait painted or drawn can be expensive, having a photoshoot is far more accessible and common. Every child has their picture taken at school at a minimum, and we get our portrait taken for our driver’s licenses, passports, and much more! Despite the prevalence of portrait photography, many art admirers opt for getting their portraits painted or drawn rather than just getting a picture. 

Because of the shape of cell phones, portrait mode has grown in popularity in recent times. Portrait mode is usually the preferred choice for mobile photography and social media. 

Bailarina Maya - Eduardo Kobra- Eden Gallery


Whether you prefer portrait or landscape artworks is just a matter of choice and perception. Some art collectors like landscape art better than portrait art. Other people have a space that lends itself better to a particular orientation. For example, gallery walls often work particularly well with portrait pictures, while large areas often benefit from landscape artwork. That does not mean that landscape is better than portrait. 

Fine art landscape and portrait paintings and photographs can be enjoyed, displayed, and collected. You can find paintings sculptures, and photography art for sale at Eden’s online art gallery, and private collections worldwide.

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Availability and Price