How do Different Types of Trees Affect the Meaning of Paintings?

No landscape painting is ever complete without having a tree in it. Artworks dwelled with nature’s themes, comprised of greenery, sunsets, sunrises, valleys, mountains, and other objects of nature. These lush green trees play a significant role in enhancing the beauty of nature’s other elements.

Here, you can learn more about trees and their significance in this segment. Then, explore some of the famous tree paintings that are worth their value in international markets.

Why are Trees an Important Element in Paintings?

Undoubtedly, trees play a notable role in enhancing how a landscape painting is perceived. The intensity of painting trees in an artwork defines its emotions. If the tree stretches its boundaries up and above, is rich in fruits and flowers, or gives the brightest shades of green, it is believed to radiate happiness.

On the contrary, if a tree is painted with lighter greens, branches laying on the ground, twigs broken, and dull in appearance is considered a symbol of backwardness and fading happiness. Apart from it, trees have also been associated with mythological and spiritual qualities.

The famous tree paintings depict the “trees of life” to symbolize growth and connections in all forms for healthy living. There have been other versions of it as “tree of knowledge”, “the sacred tree”, or “the family tree”.

Trees Possess Volume and Form

The canvas is filled with thick green trees to make a forest painting more intensified or a day landscape appeal to the eyes. It is evident because there is no forest without trees and no scenery without these tall fruit-bearing trees.

They possess both volume and form. Depending on the weather and climate of the region, their forms and volume change. Like in a tropical landscape, a painting is filled with thick barked trees with branches spread over the ground. A hilly and mountainous region painting consists of conical heightened trees similar to Christmas trees.

The idea of painting trees also varies on the subject chosen. To reflect the fall season, trees are painted with orangish yellow clump leaves and warm browns for the roots. It is all a gameplay of light, color, and shadow to make your artwork stand out on the grounds of creativity.

The Tree of Forgiveness

Edward Burne Jones painted The Tree Of Forgiveness in 1882. The Pre-Raphaelite artist aims to capture an almond tree surrounded by others on a beautiful summer day.

It is a surreal and soothing oil on canvas that sinks positivity and calmness into the environment. Michelangelo inspires the style of portraiture. It is a depiction of Phyllis and Demophoon.

Here, we see that Phyllis is bursting out of the almond tree and embracing her lover who abandoned her. However, the eye-catching part of the painting is seeing her legs still inside the tree trunk.


One of the most famous tree paintings that glorify the presence of trees in their full form and grandeur is Understory by Lynsey Ewan. The name so given understorey is to reveal the layers of vegetation beneath the main canopy of a forest, which is unlikely to be observed because of the heavy trees surrounding it.

First, it is hard to swallow that this masterpiece is a painting, not a photograph. The artist has put so much heart and creativity into making this canvas so real. Whoever sees it for the first time is amazed by the perfection and attention to detail in making every little element of the painting.

There is a perfect blend of colors between the various tones of green. It seems that even where there is a little light, the different shades are reflecting themselves.

The Trees of Life

The Tree Of Life is an old renowned painting by the world-famous artist Gustav Klimt. It is a mosaic creation that entails the swirling trees of life, an embracing couple, and a standing female figure. The painting was a commissioned work for Palais Stocelet in Brussels, Belgium.

The artworks consist of mosaics spread across the three walls of the Palais dining room. Along with it lies two figural sections set opposite each other. The oil on canvas measures 195 cm by 102 cm and is currently housed at the Museum of Applied Arts Vienna, Austria.

For the fans of Gustav Klimt, this mural is a unique landscape created by the artist during his golden period. He used his great oil painting techniques with gold paint to create luxurious art pieces during that time.

The concept of Gustav Klimt’s painting is expressed boldly and originally. The swirling branches create mythical symbolism that focuses on the perpetuity of life. The branches take many forms, twisted, twirled, turned, spiraled, and undulated. They create a tangle of strong branches and fragile threads, an emotion that highlights life’s complexity.

The Bottom Line

Trees have so much more to offer in the lives of humans. They stall tall, strong, and grounded. We get so much to learn from all such historic famous tree paintings and ideas. To better understand, you can also explore some of the most renowned tree paintings online.