This oil sketch of a mass of trees in a deep ravine continues the tradition of painting directly from nature which had reached a height of popularity in Italy in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Cels has used two approaches to painting the trees here. Those deep in the gully have been highlighted with lighter shades of green to bring them into relief against the dark mass of foliage, others such as the tree silhouetted against the sky are painted in one shade only and the swift brushstrokes define the shapes of the leaves.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1819 - 1894
Full title
Tree study
Date made
about 1840
Medium and support
Oil on paper laid on canvas
Dimensions
23.2 x 29.8 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by Kate de Rothschild, 1999
Inventory number
NG6578
Location in Gallery