French 19th - 20th century
In the 19th century, landscape painting became an important genre. Artists were seeking reality and political liberalism thus gaining self-confidence and positivism in their work.
The essence of the Barbizon school, haven to well-known painters during the 1840s just south of Paris, was the urge to grasp nature by working 'en-plein-air' in preference to dark studios and academic studies. Working outdoors permitted light to play a major role and supported a more realistic way of painting.