An integral part of art education in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, open-air painting was a core practice for emerging artists in Europe. Intrepid artists such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, John Constable, Simon Denis, Jules Coignet, and André Giroux—highly skilled at quickly capturing effects of light and atmosphere—made sometimes arduous journeys to paint their landscapes in person at breathtaking sites, ranging from the Baltic coast and Swiss Alps to the ruins of Rome. Drawing on new scholarship, this exhibition of some 100 oil sketches made outdoors across Europe during that time includes several recently discovered works and explores the variety of inventive ways in which enraptured artists recorded their moments in nature.
The dynamic new virtual tour allows you to explore each room of the exhibition True to Nature: Open-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1870. Zoom in on the works, click on the different-colored dots to read wall texts, view higher-resolution photos, and see artist biographies. While available on mobile, this tour is best viewed on a desktop or tablet.