Drawing in the Open Air
18 October 2017 - 29 January 2018
After developing strongly in 17th-century France (and Europe), drawing in the open air, from the motif, became current practice in the 18th. By the 19th century, it was considered a vital part of the training of young artists; constantly evolving, it became a primary aspect of the history of drawing.
The meanings of the expressions "from nature," "after nature," "from life," and "from the motif" fluctuated, vague, covering as much observation and scientific study as study sketches, student exercises, architectural surveys, military drawings, drawing from memory, travel illustrations, or the barest sketch of some fleeting impression. Drawing from nature gradually became viewed as an artwork in its own right, a finished piece with its own justification and purpose.
The exhibition groups over one hundred drawings and etchings, along with around thirty sketchbooks, the ultimate instrument of plein-air drawing.