Painting Out of Doors

Artists painted oil sketches in the open air, on paper or small panels, at least as early as the 17th century. By the late 18th century, the practice was widespread across Europe, with Italy the undisputed centre. Many artists congregated in Rome, from where they set out for the Roman Campagna and picturesque sites such as Tivoli.

During the 19th century, artists continued to work in Italy, including Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot who made three visits in 1825-8, 1834 and 1843. His Italian oil sketches were influential for fellow French artists such as Pierre-Etienne-Théodore Rousseau.

Painting quickly, many artists believed, was one way to capture fleeting light effects. However, not all the studies in this room are swiftly painted. Some, particularly the city scenes, are carefully executed, and detailed preparatory drawings lie underneath the paint layers.

Paintings in this room

View of the Gorge at Civita Castellana
View of the Gorge at Civita Castellana
Attributed to Edouard Bertin
La Ferté
La Ferté
Richard Parkes Bonington
Avignon from the West
Avignon from the West
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Monsieur Pivot on Horseback
Monsieur Pivot on Horseback
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Peasants under the Trees at Dawn
Peasants under the Trees at Dawn
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Acqua Acetosa
Acqua Acetosa
Paul-Dominique Gourlier
A Wall in Naples
A Wall in Naples
Thomas Jones
A View in Spain
A View in Spain
Frederic, Lord Leighton
Houses in Venice
Houses in Venice
Frederic, Lord Leighton
The Villa Malta, Rome
The Villa Malta, Rome
Frederic, Lord Leighton
View in Capri
View in Capri
Frederic, Lord Leighton
Sunset in the Auvergne
Sunset in the Auvergne
Théodore Rousseau
Rome at Sunrise, from the Janiculum
Rome at Sunrise, from the Janiculum
Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes
 
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