Also found in: Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

plein air

or plein-air  (plān′âr′, plĕ-nĕr′)
1. Of or being a style of painting produced out of doors in natural light.
2. Taking place outdoors: plein air dining.

[From French (en) plein air, (in) the open air : en, in + plein, full + air, air.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˌpleɪnˈɛə; French plɛnɛr)
(Art Terms) of or in the manner of various French 19th-century schools of painting, esp impressionism, concerned with the observation of light and atmosphere effects outdoors
[C19: from French phrase en plein air in the open (literally: full) air]
plein-airist n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌpleɪnˈɛər; Fr. plɛˈnɛr)

1. of or pertaining to a style of impressionist painting seeking to produce the luminous effects of outdoor light.
2. of or pertaining to painting done in daylight out of doors.
[1890–95; < French: literally, open air]
plein`-air′ism, n.
plein`-air′ist, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
There, he became "Buffalo" and part of the Taos Society of Artists, representing a new breed of Western plein-air painters.
Color, composition, creativity stressed in plein-air and studio painting, g.a.
Plein-air painting, once a central genre of modern art, has experienced such a precipitous decline in recent decades as to have practically disappeared.
The influence of the emerging art form of photography, the work of Corot and the plein-air painters, and then introduction of Japanese prints into the western art world are also addressed.
Berenson set himself up in opposition to reigning Ruskinian values by his aestheticism, his theory of sensations, and by his Morellian leanings - his "new art criticism." Coeval and consistent with The Venetian Painters (1894) and Lorenzo Lotto: An Essay in Constructive Art Criticism (1895) was his then radical taste for modern French, plein-air painting.
Some of the work for this show is the result of the Guild's summer plein-air painting project.
Rosado is showing acrylic paintings in "Faces From the 2012 Oregon Country Fair"; Bourgault has a selection of his plein-air watercolor paintings.
Ya'ari sets up his shots with a plein-air painter's sensibility for framing devices, paths leading the eye into the distance, and figures grouped according to compositional rules established centuries ago.
A plein-air is timed the National Day of Sweden, which is celebrated on June 6, Trend Life reported.
Graves is a plein-air artist who is a member of the Rockport Art Association and the Hudson Valley Art Association.
Thygeson, a member of the Lane County Plein-air Painters, promises to donate 20 percent of proceeds from her sales to Eugene schools.