Sunset in the Roman Campagna

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.

Key facts

Artist dates
1755 - 1813
Full title
Sunset in the Roman Campagna
Date made
about 1800
Medium and support
Oil on paper
18.2 x 26.2 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1996
Inventory number
Location in Gallery