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At the center of the picture, the ruins of a crenellated, round, stone tower sitting on gently sloping hills is silhouetted against a warm, 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 creamy 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

  • Thursday, February 27, 2020
  • 11:00 a.m.
  • West Building, Main Floor - Rotunda

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