Cloud Study (Distant Storm)

Simon Denis Flemish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 805

This study shows a range of climatic conditions stacked one above the other. It lightens progressively over a space that extends thousands of feet, from the rainstorm at lower left to the clear sky at top. Denis’s plein-air sketches epitomize the Enlightenment’s embrace of empirical research in the pursuit of knowledge. The artist employed the particular effect seen here in finished paintings of the 1790s, and perhaps earlier.

Cloud Study (Distant Storm), Simon Denis (Flemish, Antwerp 1755–1813 Naples), Oil on paper

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