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Event Item: 00087
Plein-Air Practice In The Forest Of Fontainebleau
Exhibition: 2nd Mar 2008 to 8th Jun 2008
The quiet but significant revolution that was launched by artists working outdoors in 19th-century France is explored through some 100 paintings, pastels, and photographs as well as artist and tourist ephemera assembled for the exhibition In the Forest of Fontainebleau: Painters and Photographers from Corot to Monet at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

Works by artists such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875), Théodore Rousseau (1812-1867), Jean-François Millet (1814-1875), Claude Monet (1840-1926), and photographer Eugène Cuvelier (1837-1900) will showcase the French phenomenon of plein-air (open-air) painting in the region of Fontainebleau, which became a pilgrimage site for aspiring landscapists. Spanning half a century, from the mid-1820s through the 1870s, this artistic movement gave rise to the "Barbizon School" and laid the groundwork for impressionism.

"This exhibition celebrates a fertile relationship between artists and a unique locale that had a critical impact on European and American artists, such as the impressionists, in the decades that followed," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "We are grateful to the many public and private lenders and especially would like to thank the Florence Gould Foundation for its support and its continuing commitment to the National Gallery."

In the Forest of Fontainebleau is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in association with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where the exhibition will be on view July 13 through October 19, 2008.

From plein-air sketches to impressionist canvases, the exhibition traces the centrality of the Forest of Fontainebleau in the development of naturalistic landscape painting in the 19th century. In addition to paintings, pastels, and photographs, In the Forest of Fontainebleau includes popular 19th-century guidebooks, maps, and souvenirs that reflect Fontainebleau's history as a tourist destination.

An installation of 19th-century photographic equipment as well as open-air painting gear will be displayed near the entrance to the exhibition.

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
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