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Weather in Art: From Symbol to Science

Offered in conjunction with the exhibition True to Nature: Open-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1870  on view at the National Gallery of Art February 2 – May 3, 2020, senior lecturer David Gariff discusses shifting definitions and visual explorations of weather in European painting. In this lecture, presented on February 26, 2020, at the National Gallery of Art, Gariff investigates how approaches to painting the effects of weather — storms, rain, snow, wind, floods, and cloud formations — slowly transform from symbolic portrayals in religious, mythological, and history paintings to more scientific and empirical depictions of weather, reflecting the influence of the new science of meteorology emerging in the nineteenth century.