En plein air

French for "in the open air," used chiefly to describe paintings that have been executed outdoors, rather than in the studio. Plein air painting was taken up by the English painters Richard Parks Bonington (1802-1828) and John Constable (1776-1837), and the French Barbizon School, and it became central to Impressionism. Its popularity was aided by the development of easily portable painting equipment and materials, including paints sold in tubes. The equivalent term in Italian is "alfresco," which is also used by English-speakers. (Artlex.com)

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