By the late 18th century, the practice of painting outdoors (en plein air) was widespread, especially in Italy, where picturesque views of Tivoli and the Campagna were irresistible to French and British artists. Fifty years later in France, the Barbizon groupincluding Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Théodore Rousseau, and Charles-Francois Daubignyeagerly escaped the studio to paint landscapes, rivers, and beach scenes of their native land. These painters were a crucial influence on a new generation of artists who would eventually become known as the Impressionists.
In this delightful and accessible exploration of the National Gallery’s collection of 18th- and 19th-century landscape paintings, Sarah Herring introduces and explains the enduring appeal of these charming small works of art, both to their original collectors and to the present-day viewer.
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