Landscape painting in Pakistan has got a peculiar instinct value among artists. The fringy mountains block the view in many canvases painted in NWFP and Baluchistan, while the pale grains of the soil of Sind advocate ocher to be exercised throughout the uncouth surface easing on an easel. But many calm blues embraces blazing yellows when the canvas is put against the lavishly enriched green fields of Punjab; the land of five rivers that reflects many shades of countless colors.
After the partition, Khalid Iqbal with his vanishing deep perspective of subdued tinges, made the coarse surface of stretched canvas to enfold the green and dusty areas of this soil without any discrimination.
His very talented student, Zulqarnain Haider carried on this tradition of capturing the disposition of soil, and diverse tones of clear blue or cloud-laden sky.
As the climatic differences between our terra firma and of the impressionistically painted Europe, was at poles apart, there was no other way, but to arrange our own palette according to our own visual requirements.
This is what exactly these gentlemen did by actually laying the foundation stone of ‘landscape painting school’ in Lahore, which later spread regardless of any geographical entity to the other beautiful parts of dear homeland.
Another name in this ‘green palette’ of Pakistan was painted in more than green color; Ghulam Rasul who with his verticality in general and a hint of abstract handling of color, with green mostly in command, fortified this tradition of landscape painting.
As Khalid Iqbal tought at NCA and Zulqarnain Hyder at Fine Art Department of the Punjab University; two vital institutes of visual arts facing each other at the Mall, a prototype style evolved as a solid tradition and penetrated to the younger lot of their students, gradually but very effectively. Though, Ustad Allah Bukhs, as predecessor, had shown unyielding commitment towards landscape backgrounds in many of his pastoral life paintings, but they were not categorized as pure landscapes frames.
At Royat Gallery Lahore, Mirza Matloob Baig put on display a variety of flamboyantly painted frames, almost 40 in number, to take oath in the hands of great masters of this genre, and for the evergreen tradition of landscape painting.