Impressionism and Open-Air Painting

Ruins, Terraces and Roofs

In the 18th century, ruins and certain architectural features became key factors in landscape painting, endowing it with a picturesque character. Such features attracted the attention of young painters who trained in Italy in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, following the tradition of 17th-century idealist landscape and 18th-century vedute. In open-air studies this picturesque element was gradually abandoned in favour of a desire for veracity which pursued a correct representation of the motif as a whole with regard to forms, textures and tonal values rather than strict attention to detail.

Interior of the Coliseum

Christoffer Wilhelm Eckersberg Interior of the Coliseum, 1813-6

Oil on canvas. 32 x 25.5 cm.
Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhaguen. Denmark

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