Naturalism, combined with realism, influenced impressionism and modern art, with an emphasis on plein air practice (painting scenes outdoors).

Before the early 19th century, art depicted landscapes and people in idealised or stylized ways based on classical traditions. However, in the 19th century, there was a shift toward more realistic representations. In Britain, John Constable played a significant role and advocated for ‘natural painture’.

This shift to naturalism became a major trend in the century, combining with realistic subject matter and ultimately influencing impressionism and modern art. Naturalism is closely linked to plein air practice, which involves painting outdoor scenes and landscapes from life.

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Parra's studio, with Parra at the centre, his back to the camera as he works on the large painting takes centre stage, showing a faceless blue woman in a striped dress, painted in red, purple, blue and teal. The studio is full of brightly coloured paints, with a large window on the right and a patterned rug across the floor under the painting.