En plein air

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Monet working "en plein air" by Renoir

En plein air or plein air is a French expression meaning "in the open air", commonly used to refer to the practice of painting an entire finished picture out of doors as opposed to simply making preparatory studies or sketches. The technique was pioneered by John Constable in Britain and later became fundamental to Impressionism.[1]


  1. Plein air. Glossary. The Tate Collection. 13 May 2008