True to Nature: Open-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1870

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True to Nature: Open-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1870

Published February 21, 2020

An integral part of art education in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, painting en plein air was a core practice for avant-garde artists in Europe. Intrepid artists such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, John Constable, Simon Denis, Jules Coignet, and André Giroux, were highly skilled at quickly capturing effects of light and atmosphere. They made, sometimes arduous journeys to paint their landscapes in person at breathtaking sites, ranging from the Baltic coast and Swiss Alps, to the streets of Paris and ruins of Rome. Drawing on new scholarship, this exhibition of some 100 oil sketches made outdoors across Europe during that time, includes several recently discovered works and explores issues such as attribution, chronology, and technique.

The exhibition runs from February 2 - March 3, 2020 at the National Gallery of Art, Constitution Ave NW, Washington D.C., 20001.

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