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

Exhibition Website

Feb 2 2020 - May 3 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—highly skilled at quickly capturing effects of light and atmosphere—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 is curated by Mary Morton, curator and head of the department of French paintings, National Gallery of Art, Washington; Ger Luijten, director, Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris; and Jane Munro, keeper of paintings, drawings and prints, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

Image: Louis Dupré, French, 1789 – 1837, View of Santa Trinità dei Monti in Rome, c. 1817, oil on paper, mounted on canvas, Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, Gift of Jacques and Brigitte Gairard

Image: Johan Carl Neumann, Danish, 1833 – 1891, Landscape with Dunes, oil on paper, mounted on canvas, Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris

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