Saturday, March 7, 2009

Plein Air People

There’s no rule that you have to paint only landscapes or cityscapes when you’re outdoors with your oil kit. You can paint people, too.

French academic painter Jehan-Georges Vibert executed this 9x14 inch oil study called “At the Corrida” outdoors at a sporting event in 1875. Evidently he painted each figure spontaneously as they struck momentary poses.

Click to enlarge. There's a man leaning over the railing, cheering, and three different women holding up their fans to shield their faces from the sun. Each is a study in character, each sketched from candid subjects.

The piece shows signs of being painted in a slotted box, a typical plein air set-up from the time. The study was probably finished out to the edges later.

See 29 images by Vibert at Art Renewal Center, link.


Jared Shear said...

WOW...what a great image. It has so much vitality to it, emanating from the figures, the lighting, the values, brushstrokes. Some bit of that moment...the dust, the screams, the sweat, forever embedded in the paint.

jeff said...

This man has chops to spare.
I don't think I have ever seen a sketch like this. Amazing.

Stephen James. said...

Awesome image.