En plein air


En plein air

"En plein air" is a French expression which means "in the open air", and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors.

Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century working in natural light became particularly important to the Barbizon school and Impressionism. The popularity of painting "en plein air" increased in the 1870s with the introduction of paints in tubes (resembling modern toothpaste tubes). Previously, each painter made their own paints by grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil. The Newlyn School in England is considered another major proponent of the technique in the latter 19th century.

It was during this period that the "Box Easel", typically known as the French Box Easel, was invented. It is uncertain who developed it first, but these highly portable easels, with telescopic legs and built-in paint box and palette, made treks into the forest and up the hillsides less onerous. Still made today, they remain a popular choice even for home use since they fold up to the size of a brief case and thus are easy to store. French Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir advocated "en plein air" painting, and much of their work was done outdoors, in the diffuse light provided by a large white umbrella. In the second half of the nineteenth century and beginning of the twentieth century in Russia, painters such as Vasily Polenov, Isaac Levitan, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin and I.E. Grabar were known for painting "en plein air". American Impressionists, too, such as those of the Old Lyme school, were avid painters "en plein air". American Impressionist painters noted for this style during this era included, Guy Rose, Robert William Wood, Mary Denil Morgan, John Gamble, and Arthur Hill Gilbert. The Canadian Group of Seven originated by Tom Thomson and Filipino American artist Sherie Sloane [http://sheriesloane.com] are examples of "plein air" advocates.

The popularity of outdoor painting has endured throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century.

Associated artists

*Arthur Hill Gilbert
*Claude Monet
*Camille Pissarro
*Pierre-Auguste Renoir
*Guy Rose
*Tom Thomson
*Robert William Wood

ee also

*Art colonies
*Impressionism

Further reference

* [http://www.penpap.com (Wisconsin) Peninsula Plein Air Painters]
* [http://painting.about.com/library/weekly/aapleinairpainting.htm Plein Air FAQ on About.com]
* [http://www.californiaartclub.org California Art Club]
* [http://www.lpapa.org/ Laguna Plein Air Painters Association]
* [http://www.verdeartistguild.com/ Verde Artist Guild, San Francisco] ( [http://www.verdeartistguild.com/ website] , [http://blog.verdeartistguild.com/ blog] )
* [http://www.bayarea-pleinair.com BACPAC: Bay Area Plein Air Artists]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • plein air — ⇒PLEIN( )AIR, (PLEIN AIR, PLEIN AIR), subst. masc. A. Air pur du dehors; espace, endroit situé à l extérieur. La fraîcheur soudaine du plein air le fit frissonner (CHÂTEAUBRIANT, Lourdines, 1911, p.74). Le préau peut être utilisé s il n est pas… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Plein Air (Ramón Casas) — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Para otros usos de este término, véase Plenairismo. Plein Air Ramon Casas, 1890 Óleo sobre lienzo  Modern …   Wikipedia Español

  • plein-air — plein airism, plein airist, n. /playn air /; Fr. /ple nerdd /, adj. 1. pertaining to a manner or style of painting developed chiefly in France in the mid 19th century, characterized by the representation of the luminous effects of natural light… …   Universalium

  • plein air —    , plein air    (plehn ayr) [French: open air] Used in reference to some French impressionist painters whose works depict scenes, people, and objects seen outdoors, especially in bright sunlight.    See also alfresco, en plein air.    It made… …   Dictionary of foreign words and phrases

  • plein-air — plein airism, plein airist, n. /playn air /; Fr. /ple nerdd /, adj. 1. pertaining to a manner or style of painting developed chiefly in France in the mid 19th century, characterized by the representation of the luminous effects of natural light… …   Useful english dictionary

  • plein-air — [plān΄er′; ] Fr [ ple ner′] adj. [Fr, lit., open air] designating, of, or in the manner of certain schools of French impressionist painting of the late 19th cent., engaged mainly in representing observed effects of outdoor light and atmosphere… …   English World dictionary

  • plein-air — 1894, from French phrase en plein air, lit. in the open air. The style developed among French impressionists c.1870 …   Etymology dictionary

  • plein-air|ism — «PLAYN AIR ihz uhm», noun. the principles or methods of the plein air painters …   Useful english dictionary

  • plein-air|ist — «PLAYN AIR ihst», noun. an artist of the plein air school …   Useful english dictionary

  • plein air — loc.s.m.inv. ES fr. {{wmetafile0}} TS pitt. stile pittorico, tipico degli impressionisti, che predilige l esecuzione di quadri all aperto per ottenere la massima spontaneità nella resa della luce naturale e degli effetti atmosferici e paesistici… …   Dizionario italiano


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