The Corot to Monet: French Landscape Painting exhibition catalogue was published to accompany the Corot to Monet exhibition (an exhibition of French nineteenth century paintings) at the National Gallery in 2009. It includes French paintings and oil sketches by Thomas Jones, Richard Bonington, and the Barbizon School painters, as well as early Impressionist landscapes by Claude Monet.
By the late eighteenth century, the practice of painting en plein air (outdoors) was widespread, especially in Italy, where picturesque views of Tivoli and the Campagna were irresistible to French and British artists. Fifty years later in France, the Barbizon group, including Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Theodore Rousseau and Charles-Francois Daubigny - eagerly escaped the studio to paint landscapes, rivers and beach scenes of their native land. These painters were a crucial influence on a new generation of artists who would eventually become known as the Impressionists.
Many of these pictures came to the National Gallery through dedicated, if occasionally eccentric, collectors; Corot to Monet: French Landscape Painting introduces and explains the enduring appeal of these charming small landscapes, both to their original owners, and to the present day viewer.