plein air

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(Fr.: ‘open air’).

Term used to characterize paintings (usually landscapes) done outdoors rather than in the studio, or more generally to describe pictures that give a strong feeling of the open air. Although there are earlier instances, painting outdoors did not become common until the 19th century, when the development of portable equipment made it much easier in practical terms. It became a central feature of Impressionism and is especially associated with Monet.

Subjects: Art.

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