Gallery F

Landscape oil sketches

In 18th-century Europe, making small sketches outdoors became a common practice for painters. Capturing fleeting natural effects was an artistic challenge that honed the skill of hand and eye. It soon became an essential part of a painter’s education. Artists sketched on home soil as well as on their travels to windswept coasts and across icy mountains. Many travelled south to the countryside around Rome (the campagna) which had attracted painters for centuries. Ancient ruins and aqueducts punctuate Italian landscape sketches. Elsewhere artists focus on scudding clouds, cragged rocks, and gnarled trees – both living and dead.

Back in the studio, details captured in sketches were incorporated into larger paintings. The small-scale works made quickly outdoors (en plein air) were rarely meant for public display, and are sometimes unfinished. In the last decades of the 19th century, the sketches’ loose style and freshness proved influential for the Impressionists in France and the Macchiaioli in Italy.

Paintings in this room

Arnold Böcklin: 'A Cliff Face'
A Cliff Face
Arnold Böcklin
Giovanni Boldini: 'In the Garden'
In the Garden
Giovanni Boldini
Richard Parkes Bonington: 'La Ferté'
La Ferté
Richard Parkes Bonington
Eugène-Ferdinand Buttura: 'A Road in the Roman Campagna'
A Road in the Roman Campagna
Eugène-Ferdinand Buttura
Giovanni-Battista Camuccini: 'A Fallen Tree Trunk'
A Fallen Tree Trunk
Giovanni-Battista Camuccini
Giovanni-Battista Camuccini: 'Ariccia'
Ariccia
Giovanni-Battista Camuccini
Jean-Michel Cels: 'Sky Study with Birds'
Sky Study with Birds
Jean-Michel Cels
Jean-Michel Cels: 'Tree study'
Tree study
Jean-Michel Cels
Gilles-François-Joseph Closson: 'Antique Ruins (the Baths of Caracalla?)'
Antique Ruins (the Baths of Caracalla?)
Gilles-François-Joseph Closson
Attributed to Jules-Louis-Philippe Coignet: 'River Landscape'
River Landscape
Probably by Jules-Louis-Philippe Coignet
Attributed to Jean-Antoine Constantin: 'Bridge at Subiaco'
Bridge at Subiaco
Probably by Jean-Antoine Constantin
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot: 'Avignon from the West'
Avignon from the West
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot: 'The Marsh at Arleux'
The Marsh at Arleux
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot: 'The Seine near Rouen'
The Seine near Rouen
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Attributed to Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot: 'Staircase in the Villa of Maecenas, Tivoli'
Staircase in the Villa of Maecenas, Tivoli
Probably by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Giuseppe De Nittis: 'Winter Landscape'
Winter Landscape
Giuseppe De Nittis
Paul-Dominique Gourlier: 'Acqua Acetosa'
Acqua Acetosa
Paul-Dominique Gourlier
Attributed to François-Marius Granet: 'View of the Falls at Tivoli'
View of the Falls at Tivoli
Probably by François-Marius Granet
Thomas Jones: 'A Wall in Naples'
A Wall in Naples
Thomas Jones
Attributed to Josephus Augustus Knip: 'Green Mountains'
Green Mountains
Probably by Josephus Augustus Knip
Frederic, Lord Leighton: 'A View in Spain'
A View in Spain
Frederic, Lord Leighton
Frederic, Lord Leighton: 'An Outcrop in the Campagna'
An Outcrop in the Campagna
Frederic, Lord Leighton
Frederic, Lord Leighton: 'Archway on the Palatine'
Archway on the Palatine
Frederic, Lord Leighton
Frederic, Lord Leighton: 'Houses in Venice'
Houses in Venice
Frederic, Lord Leighton
Achille-Etna Michallon: 'A Tree'
A Tree
Achille-Etna Michallon
Théodore Rousseau: 'Sunset in the Auvergne'
Sunset in the Auvergne
Théodore Rousseau
George Augustus Wallis: 'Rocks, Tree Trunks and Branches'
Rocks, Tree Trunks and Branches
George Augustus Wallis
William White Warren: 'The Crystal Palace from Penge'
The Crystal Palace from Penge
William White Warren