Plein air, Ramon Casas
Casas was a Catalan Spanish painter active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, known primarily for his portraits. I believe the “plein air” of the title of this piece refers not to the method of panting, but to the subject of the young woman dining outdoors, “en plein air”.
The artist gives us an intriguing composition in which a woman sits by herself at one of only two tables that occupy a large space, her attention apparently focused on a well-dressed man across the courtyard, his own gaze pointed away and out of the entrance.
We are left with only suggestions of what their relationship might be.
Muted lights, hazy atmospherics and soft edges add to the sense of mystery, as does the strangely empty foreground of the composition.