The Gere CollectionBeginning in the 1950s, John and Charlotte Gere pioneered the collecting of small-scale landscape oil sketches created by 18th- and 19th-century artists working out of doors. Such pictures, painted quickly to capture subtle atmospheric effects, played a vital role in the visual training of generations of European artists. The sketches were not conceived of as finished works of art, were rarely if ever exhibited during the painters' lifetimes, and were often kept in the studio for later consultation.
Today the Gere Collection numbers some 70 works, the majority of them views of Italy by British, French, Italian, German, Belgian and Scandinavian artists. It includes paintings by such admired figures as Thomas Jones, Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, Simon Denis, Louis Gauffier, Francois-Marius Granet, Gilles Closson, Giovanni-Battista Camuccini and Frederic, Lord Leighton. These intimate and compelling documents of artists at work form what is perhaps the most comprehensive collection of its kind.
The Gere Collection of landscape oil sketches is on long-term loan to the National Gallery.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN