The Art of Autumn

Autumn is a time of contemplation.

A time to reflect on the changing of the seasons from growth to decay.

Each year is a cycle of life that repeats.

Mother Nature bears the fruits of her labor, celebrating life in a festival of colour before the long winter months set in.

It’s as if nature is reminding us that life is to be enjoyed, that there is so much to be grateful for, and that we can look forward to renewal again in the spring.

Artists through the centuries have been inspired by the beauty and melancholy of autumn.

Here are 40 beautiful paintings of the season of red and gold along with quotes from poets and writers.

Autumn Regrets by John Atkinson Grimshaw, 1882
Autumn Regrets by John Atkinson Grimshaw, 1882
Autumn in Cornwall by Walter Elmer Schofield (1869 - 1944)
Autumn in Cornwall by Walter Elmer Schofield (1869 – 1944)
And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question ‘Whither?’
Robert Frost, The Poetry of Robert Frost
Setting Sun, Autumn in Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1900
Setting Sun, Autumn in Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1900
Autumn Festival by Willard Leroy Metcalf, 1915
Autumn Festival by Willard Leroy Metcalf, 1915
Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.George Eliot
Autumnal Forest with Houses by Walter Moras (1856 - 1925)
Autumnal Forest with Houses by Walter Moras (1856 – 1925)
The Sussex lanes were very lovely in the autumn . . . spendthrift gold and glory of the year-end . . . earth scents and the sky winds and all the magic of the countryside which is ordained for the healing of the soul.Monica Baldwin
A Country Road in Autumn by Edward Wilkins Waite, 1918
A Country Road in Autumn by Edward Wilkins Waite, 1918
There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!Percy Bysshe Shelley
Autumn Sunlight by John F. Carlson (1875 - 1945)
Autumn Sunlight by John F. Carlson (1875 – 1945)
Autumn by Stanislav Zhukovsky (1873 - 1944)
Autumn by Stanislav Zhukovsky (1873 – 1944)
Autumn Days
Yellow, mellow, ripened days,
Sheltered in a golden coating;
O’er the dreamy, listless haze,
White and dainty cloudlets floating;
Winking at the blushing trees,
And the sombre, furrowed fallow;
Smiling at the airy ease,
Of the southward flying swallow.
Sweet and smiling are thy ways,
Beauteous, golden Autumn days.
Will Carleton
Autumn in Gloucestershire by Alfred East (1844 - 1913)
Autumn in Gloucestershire by Alfred East (1844 – 1913)
Autumn Gold by John Atkinson Grimshaw, 1880
Autumn Gold by John Atkinson Grimshaw, 1880
Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.Robert Browning
A Woodland Path in Autumn by Edward Wilkins Waite, 1918
A Woodland Path in Autumn by Edward Wilkins Waite, 1918
Autumn Colouring by Edward Wilkins Waite, 1894
Autumn Colouring by Edward Wilkins Waite, 1894
You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
Autumn Alley by Johan Krouthén, 1917
Autumn Alley by Johan Krouthén, 1917
I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks
Autumn in Pavlovsk by Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin, 1888
Autumn in Pavlovsk by Ivan Ivanovich Shishkin, 1888
Late Autumn by Robert Vonnoh (1858 - 1933)
Late Autumn by Robert Vonnoh (1858 – 1933)
Autumn Day, Sokolniki by Isaak Levitan, 1879
Autumn Day, Sokolniki by Isaak Levitan, 1879
Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn–that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness–that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.Jane Austen, Persuasion
Autumn on the River by Julian Alden Weir, 1906
Autumn on the River by Julian Alden Weir, 1906
The tints of autumn…a mighty flower garden blossoming under the spell of the enchanter, frost.John Greenleaf Whittier
Autumn on the River by Jasper Francis Cropsey, 1877
Autumn on the River by Jasper Francis Cropsey, 1877
Autumn Poplars by Camille Pissarro, 1893
Autumn Poplars by Camille Pissarro, 1893
It was one of those days you sometimes get latish in the autumn when the sun beams, the birds toot, and there is a bracing tang in the air that sends the blood beetling briskly through the veins.P.G. Wodehouse
Cresheim Glen, Wissahickon, Autumn by Thomas Moran, 1864
Cresheim Glen, Wissahickon, Autumn by Thomas Moran, 1864
Along the woods in Autumn by Alfred Sisley, 1885
Along the woods in Autumn by Alfred Sisley, 1885
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run
John Keats, Complete Poems and Selected Letters
Autumn Effect at Argenteuil by Claude Monet, 1873
Autumn Effect at Argenteuil by Claude Monet, 1873
Autumn Leaves by William McTaggart (1835 - 1910)
Autumn Leaves by William McTaggart (1835 – 1910)
Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn.Leo Tolstoy
Alley in Autumn by Walter Moras (1856 - 1925)
Alley in Autumn by Walter Moras (1856 – 1925)
The Water's Edge by William M. Hart, 1881
The Water’s Edge by William M. Hart, 1881
Give me juicy autumnal fruit ripe and red from the orchard,Walt Whitman, The Complete Poems
Autumn in Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1900
Autumn in Eragny by Camille Pissarro, 1900
All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing horn, Led yellow Autumn, wreath’d with nodding corn.Robert Burns, Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns
Autumn on the Farm by Charles Harold Davis (1856 - 1933)
Autumn on the Farm by Charles Harold Davis (1856 – 1933)
Such days of autumnal decline hold a strange mystery which adds to the gravity of all our moods.Charles Nodier, Smarra & Trilby
Edge of a Forest in Autumn by Alfred Sisley, 1883
Edge of a Forest in Autumn by Alfred Sisley, 1883
New England Autumn Landscape by John Joseph Enneking, 1894
New England Autumn Landscape by John Joseph Enneking, 1894
The goldenrod is yellow,
The corn is turning brown…
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.
Helen Hunt Jackson
Autumn Evening by Ferdinand Hodler, 1893
Autumn Evening by Ferdinand Hodler, 1893
The gold and scarlet leaves that littered the countryside in great drifts whispered and chuckled among themselves, or took experimental runs from place to place, rolling like coloured hoops among the trees.Gerald Durrell, My Family and Other Animals
Burnham Beeches by Myles Birket Foster (1825 - 1899)
Burnham Beeches by Myles Birket Foster (1825 – 1899)
The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
That dances as often as dance it can,
Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christabel

 

Autumn Roadside, Kentucky by William Forsyth, 1903
Autumn Roadside, Kentucky by William Forsyth, 1903
the fallen leaves in the forest seemed to make even the ground glow and burn with lightMalcolm Lowry, October Ferry To Gabriola
Autumn Leaves by John Singer Sargent, 1913
Autumn Leaves by John Singer Sargent, 1913
Every season hath its pleasures;
Spring may boast her flowery prime,
Yet the vineyard’s ruby treasures
Brighten Autumn’s sob’rer time.
Thomas Moore
Autumn Landscape by Charles Courtney Curran, 1928
Autumn Landscape by Charles Courtney Curran, 1928
Autumn Tints by Maurice Braun (1877 - 1941)
Autumn Tints by Maurice Braun (1877 – 1941)
In Heaven, it is always AutumnJohn Donne
The Arc de Triomphe, Autumn Effect by Jean-François Raffaëlli, 1907
The Arc de Triomphe, Autumn Effect by Jean-François Raffaëlli, 1907
Autumn Landscape by Paul Madeline, 1905
Autumn Landscape by Paul Madeline, 1905
Methinks I see the sunset light flooding the river valley, the western hills stretching to the horizon, overhung with trees gorgeous and glowing with the tints of autumn — a mighty flower garden blossoming under the spell of the enchanter, frost.John Greenleaf Whittier, Tales and Sketches
A Late Autumn Day in Dyrehaven, Sunshine by Theodor Philipsen, 1886
A Late Autumn Day in Dyrehaven, Sunshine by Theodor Philipsen, 1886
The leaves were more gorgeous than ever; the first touch of frost would lay them all low to the ground. Already one or two kept constantly floating down, amber and golden in the low slanting sun-raysElizabeth Gaskell, North and South
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The Bridge at Argenteuil in Autumn by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1882
The Bridge at Argenteuil in Autumn by Pierre Auguste Renoir, 1882
And every year there is a brief, startling moment
When we pause in the middle of a long walk home and
Suddenly feel something invisible and weightless
Touching our shoulders, sweeping down from the air:
It is the autumn wind pressing against our bodies;
It is the changing light of fall falling on us.
Edward Hirsch, Wild Gratitude
A Wooded Path In Autumn by Hans Andersen Brendekilde (1857 - 1942)
A Wooded Path In Autumn by Hans Andersen Brendekilde (1857 – 1942)

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