Skying 7: Impressionism

The Eclectic Light Company

It’s only when you look through hundreds of Impressionist and Naturalist paintings – the movements which dominated European painting in the latter half of the nineteenth century – that you realise how high most of their horizons are. Despite a strong culture of painting in oils outdoors, and the general availability of oil paint in tubes, skying seems to have become much less popular after about 1850.

It’s also easy to mistake the rough facture and overall sketchiness of many of the paintings made by Impressionists as indications that their finished works were no more than the sort of sketches of clouds that John Constable made on Hampstead Heath. Skies weren’t a strong part of the mainstream Impressionist agenda, though, with limited scope for intensified chroma and lightness, leaving them to be relegated to backgrounds. As a result, the most prolific of the Impressionist sky painters were those at the…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

One reply on “Skying 7: Impressionism”

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