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In the Light of Italy: Corot and Early Open-Air Painting

Philip Conisbee, Sarah Faunce, and Jeremy Strick, with Peter Galassi
Published 1996
288 pages

This catalog shows the development of the Italian tradition of open-air painting, from its origins in the work of British and French artists in the 1780s to its maturity in the works of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot between 1825 and 1828. These young painters were drawn from different countries and backgrounds to the rich historical, literary, and artistic traditions embodied in the Italian landscape. Working outdoors allowed them to be as close as possible to nature, respond immediately to the scene before them, avoid conventional ways of seeing, and fill their works with a sense of open air rather than studio light. Most of these paintings were unknown outside the artists’ immediate circle, as they were made for private study or as part of the working process, until their “discovery” in the 20th century.

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