A Brush with Nature: The Gere Collection of Landscape Oil Sketches

Overview

Beginning in the 1950s, John and Charlotte Gere pioneered the collecting of small-scale landscape oil sketches created by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century artists working out of doors. Such pictures, painted quickly to capture subtle atmospheric effects and the fleeting play of light, played a vital role in the visual training of generations of European artists. The sketches were not conceived of as finished works of art, were rarely if ever exhibited during the painters' ...
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Overview

Beginning in the 1950s, John and Charlotte Gere pioneered the collecting of small-scale landscape oil sketches created by eighteenth- and nineteenth-century artists working out of doors. Such pictures, painted quickly to capture subtle atmospheric effects and the fleeting play of light, played a vital role in the visual training of generations of European artists. The sketches were not conceived of as finished works of art, were rarely if ever exhibited during the painters' lifetimes, and were often kept in the studio for later consultation.

Today the Gere collection numbers some 70 works, the majority of them views of Italy by British, French, Italian, German, Belgian and Scandinavian artists. It includes paintings by such admired figures as Thomas Jones, Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes, Simon Denis, Louis Gauffier, Francois-Marius Granet, Gilles Classon, Giovanni-Battista Camuccini and Frederic, Lord Leighton. These intimate and compelling documents of artists at work form what is perhaps the most comprehensive collection of its kind.

Two introductory essays provide a background to the collection. Charlotte Gere's memoir charts its formation, while Christopher Riopelle's essay traces the development of the plein-air oil sketch, and its place in European painting. This revised edition incorporates new information about the paintings gathered since the Gere collection was first shown at the National Gallery in summer 1999, much of it generously provided by visitors to that exhibition.

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Editorial Reviews

Raymond J. Steiner
The paintings in this collection are delightful examples of the spontaneous outdoor study and will please not only the modern-day painter of landscapes, but the appreciator of such works as well.
Art Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781857099980
  • Publisher: National Gallery London
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Series: National Gallery London Publications
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.67 (d)

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