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The ruins of a crenellated, round, stone tower sitting on gently sloping hills are silhouetted against a pale peach-colored sky in this horizontal landscape painting. Two deep green cypress trees lean against the mottled golden brown and rust-colored walls of the tower. To our left of the tower and slightly overlapping it, a high, charcoal-gray wall is also crenelated and in ruins. The land drops gently to the lower right corner. The low grasses in the field are straw and mustard yellow, with occasional patches of moss green. A person, loosely painted, stands on a low rise facing away from us, holding a tall staff, close to the tower. Several touches of tawny brown beyond suggest sheep grazing in the meadow. Silver, rose-pink, and cream-white clouds sweep across the sky high above the ruins. The scene is loosely painted with visible brushstrokes, especially in the hills and tower.

Léon-François-Antoine Fleury, The Tomb of Caecilia Metella, c. 1830, oil on canvas, Gift of Frank Anderson Trapp, 2004.166.16

Exhibitions Talk: True to Nature: Open-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1870

True to Nature

  • Friday, February 7, 2020
  • 1:00 p.m.
  • West Building, Main Floor - Rotunda
  • Gallery Talks
  • In-person

This introduction to the exhibition considers the role of small-scale oil sketches in the tradition of European landscape painting.

Heidi Applegate or Nathalie Ryan, lecturers