Beauty of Volcanoes Destructible Power Depicted on paintings


Are you fascinated by the explosive art depicted in volcano paintings? Do you love the contrasting dark and dull hues of fire and ash? Then you are in for a treat!  For decades, artists around the world have drawn inspiration from destructive volcanic eruptions.

Not only has volcanic eruption altered history but they have always had an impact on art. For, the explosion of these fiery giants has always served as a great source of inspiration for artists – leading to some spectacular paintings.  Want to look at five really cool paintings that do justice to the beauty of volcanoes? In this article, you can discover five oil paintings inspired by some very popular volcanic activities in the past.

Mount Vesuvius in Eruption, 1817 by Joseph Mallord William Turner

Mount Vesuvius in Eruption, 1817 by Joseph Mallord William Turner

This gorgeous painting reflects the turmoil that the eruption of Mount Vesuvius triggered in 1817. English artist Joseph Mallord William Turner, who was part of the Romanticism movement, used watercolors to bring his fascination for the natural event to life.

The painting features the volcano, the rough waves, and a sailboat approaching the seashore. The sky is tainted with lava and smoke but Turner conserved the realism in the foreground. If you look carefully, you will notice a group of people trying to run from the explosion but it seems that one of them is parted from the rest.

Reddish-brown hues are prominent in this image, with darker corners. The focus is on the central area where the bright lava offers a beautiful contrast. Without a doubt, this painting would be a great addition to any space.

The Eruption of the Soufriere Mountains in the Island of St. Vincent, 1812 by Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Eruption of the Soufriere Mountains in the Island of St. Vincent, 1812 by Joseph Mallord William Turner

Another incredible piece of art by William Turner, this painting was based on the La Soufrière eruption. He created this night landscape based on a sketch of the volcanic eruption by Hugh P. Keane. The painting was first exhibited in 1815 and is now in the University of Liverpool’s Victoria Gallery and Museum.

Turner uses contrasting colors to give life to this dynamic landscape on canvas. The Soufrière volcano is in the background, shooting lava out into the Caribbean skies. The foreground of the picture is covered with a water body, perhaps a river, and a rowboat nearby.

What’s more, you can see a small fire start at the foot of the volcano, lighting heavy vegetation on fire. The glory of this painting is in the only source of light – a burst of flames from within La Soufrière.

Cotopaxi by Frederic Edwin Church

Cotopaxi by Frederic Edwin Church

The Cotopaxi is Fredric Edwin Church’s popular painting of the Eponymous volcano. The Cotopaxi is notoriously known for its frequent and destructive eruptions. Church made this gorgeous painting in 1855 when he was in Ecuador.

Church made quite a few depictions of the Cotopaxi volcano. Yet, many art lovers prefer this brightly hued version most. Even though the smallest in his Cotopaxi series, this oil painting on canvas reflects his view wonderfully.

The perfect weather conditions, the feathery clouds, and the snow-capped volcano peak makes a perfect frame. It is on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum at present. You too can have a version of this naturalistic painting glorifying the interior of your home.

Eruption of a Volcano by Lajos Mezey

Eruption of a Volcano by Lajos Mezey

In this painting, Lajos Mezey fuels life to the seismic activities of a volcano. The image captures the volcano spewing molten rock and fire into the whole landscape. That’s not all, the beauty of this painting lies in the deep-toned colors used to portray blood-shot clouds.

At the same time, the right side of the painting shows the contrast between a clear sky and a sky tainted with eruption. Despite the beauty of the canvas, Mezey did not ignore the horrifying reality of such an explosion.

The foreground of the photo shows people trying to evade the wrath of boiling lava while the river on the other side is so calm and unmoved. No wonder reproductions of this museum-quality art have found a place in hundreds of art-loving homes.

Eruption of Vesuvius in 1771 by Pierre-Jacques Volaire

Eruption of Vesuvius in 1771 by Pierre-Jacques Volaire

If you like volcanoes paintings, you will cherish this mesmerizing oil painting by Pierre-Jacques Volaire. This painting shows an eruption of the Vesuvius volcano in 1771. Even though the volcano is in the background, you cannot shift focus from it.

The orange and yellow tones of fire are lighting the sky up. The bright yellow torrent of fire suggests that the lava is of very high temperature. Even though the area of the explosion has been highlighted with paint and fiery details, the rest of the image completes the story.

The moon peeks through the clouds and the boats sail away from the explosion. Dark silhouettes of people running away in the foreground suggest the urgency of the situation.


Artists from different eras have captured their experiences with volcanic eruptions while also portraying their personal artistic style on canvas. This collection of lively and colorful volcanoes is worth cherishing.


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