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Simon Denis: 'Sunset in the Roman Campagna'

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Simon Denis painted this rapid sketch of a sunset in the open air, in the countryside around Rome. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, open-air sketching in oil paint became common artistic practice in the warm climate of Italy.

This sky study, intended to capture fleeting effects of light, would have been used as a basis for a large-scale landscape painting, made in the studio.

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