Study of Clouds oil painting
Adalbert Stifter (1805–1868), “A Study of Clouds,” c. 1840, oil on paper, 8 1/2 x 12 1/2 in., Belvedere, Vienna

through September 8

Drawing from its own collection, the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere (“Belvedere”) has organized an exhibition about the development of oil sketches from the early 19th century through the early 20th century. Before this period, such sketches served as drafts for larger paintings, but soon they evolved into artworks in their own right.

“Fast & Fluid: The Fascination of the Oil Sketch” focuses on three themes — clouds, landscapes, and figures — and features works that delight us today with their often unorthodox subjects, intimacy, immediacy, and rapid brushwork. Curator Rolf H. Johannsen has selected works by mostly Austrian artists including Adalbert Stifter, Hans von Marées, Anton Romako, Hans Makart, Tina Blau, and Koloman Moser, but there are a few Germans mixed in, including the famous Caspar David Friedrich.

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