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National Gallery opens Through European Eyes. The Landscape Oil Sketch

National Gallery in London presents Through European Eyes. The Landscape Oil Sketch, an exhibition on view 6 February – 28 April 2013.

See how landscape painters across the centuries have pitted their brushes against the infinite variety of nature.

Sketching out of doors was a valuable test of skill and artists often made these quick oil sketches as training for the hand and eye. Some were then completed in the studio.

Whilst the sketches were rarely intended for public exhibition they offer tremendous freshness and beauty, and it was this quality that John and Charlotte Gere identified when they began collecting these works in the 1950s.

Certain aspects of nature were specifically sought-after as subjects. Running water, tree branches and trunks, and scudding clouds were considered as being particularly useful for learning to capture the fleeting effects of nature. Rock faces and ruins were also favoured motifs.

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