I dug around a bit and also found the Guggenheim website suggesting that landscape painting is rare in Spanish art.
You can find out more about Picasson on my information site - Pablo Picasso - Resources for Art Lovers
Landscape painting is rare in Spanish art. This scarcity can be tied to Spanish history. The Spanish Counter-Reformation of the sixteenth century was staunchly against both classicism and humanism. Strictly interpreted Catholic doctrine viewed the subject of human nature and nature in general as corrupt and indulgent. To contemplate the beauty of nature was to indulge in a hedonistic, pagan, and heretical act.
As a result, a variation on landscape painting emerged. During the second half of the sixteenth century, when El Greco came to live in Spain, a mystical and poetic current swept the nation. Instead of picturing the land as lush and inviting, artists used landscape as the setting for sacred events. In El Greco’s landscapes, we can see this “fire” or passion. His nervous, tormented, mystical, and visionary approach to painting not only expressed the intellectual climate of his age, but centuries later it would also become a model for the next generation of Spanish painters, including Francisco de Goya, Ignacio Zuloaga, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Joan Miró.
There is also a major new exhibition opening soon in New York, I wonder if it will include Picasso's landscapes - the website suggests it's going to have an heavy emphasis on the figure. Reports please from anybody who gets to see it.
- Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Upcoming Exhibitions | The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- April 27, 2010-August 1, 2010
Special Exhibition Galleries, 2nd floor
This landmark exhibition is the first to focus exclusively on works by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) in the Museum's collection. It features 150 works, including the Museum's complete holdings of paintings, drawings, sculptures, and ceramics by Picasso-never before seen in their entirety-as well as a selection of the artist's prints. The Museum's collection reflects the full breadth of the artist's multifaceted genius as it asserted itself over the course of his long and influential career.