Landscape sketches on paper by 18th & 19thc painters

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Landscape sketches on paper by 18th & 19thc painters

From Evan Millner

Published before 2005


Interestingly, almost all the landscape sketches from the 1700's through to the 1850's were on paper. Shellac-ed paper is by nature a bit pinkish. Interesting observation about pink paper then ...

Also, the recommendation is 2 hours max, not 2 hours. So Tim's observation of course is an excellent one - anything less than 2 hours. The aim of spending many months or years producing such sketches in the traditional academic curriculum was to train yourself in visual observation, not to produce a finished painting for sale.

Also, the use of colour in these sketches is astounding. Even in the 1700's, landscape sketches were achieving a degree of verisimilitude to nature that one could describe as "photographic". This usually didn't translate through in the main to the finished Salon paintings,though, which were often based to some degree on the sketches. Museum have only recently begun displaying these, artists did not value them much except as educational tools and aides memoire, and they often got dispersed after an artist's death, were badly knocked about, and were often unsigned. The National Gallery [in London] produces an excellent publication called "a brush with nature", with reproductions from the Gere collection. Because of the small size of the originals, they are more of less actual size in the book, and the quality of the reproductions approaches the actual paintings, as I stood in the gallery with the book this week, and compared the reproductions with the actual pictures. I am using the book as a model at the moment to study from, so I can train myself to "organise nature", before heading out into the wilds to paint ...

Evan