, and Sisley
spent time in the countryside, observing nature and painting en plein air
(outdoors, directly from nature). Impressionist artists were not the first to venture out of the studio and into nature. They were influenced by the work of a group of artists known as the Barbizon School
In the 1860s Barbizon painters, such as Corot
and Daubigny, worked outdoors, making drawings and oil sketches of the scenery and people around the village of Barbizon and the Forest of Fontainebleau. They would then work these preparatory sketches into finished oil paintings back in the studio. The naturalistic paintings of the Barbizon painters inspired the younger Impressionist artists to break with tradition and experiment in observing and recording nature, as they saw it, outdoors. Of course, Impressionist painters did not complete paintings outdoors in a single attempt; they would revisit their canvases in the studio, but retain the sense of spontaneity through their free brush work.