In 1863 Claude Monet and Frederic Bazille left Paris for Barbizon, a small village on the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau, forty miles south-west of Paris. They came to this district to paint from nature in the open air and to make studies for landscape paintings, far from the pressure of city life. Together with Renoir and Sisley, they were following a well-trodden path taken by painters and tourists some thirty years earlier. Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot had been studying the fleeting effects of nature in the forest as early as 1882, and in the 1840s Charles-Emile Jacque, Gustave Courbet, Charles-Francois Daubigny and Jean-Francois Millet made frequent visits to the area, some later taking up permanent residence. Like many innovators, the Barbizon painters have attracted less attention than their followers. The names of Theodore Rousseau, Narcisse Diaz de la Pena and Georges Michel have virtually been forgotten, and the originality of their painting techniques and impulsive brushwork attributed to those who later exploited them.
In this first survey of the Barbizon School for twenty years, Steven Adams re-evaluates the generation of landscape painters that preceded the Impressionists and illustrates the direct relationship between the paintings of Corot and Monet, Millet and Van Gogh. He examines the development of landscape painting in nineteenth-century France from the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in 1816 to the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, and discusses the cultural and political changes that influenced a more naturalistic painting style fifty years before the term "Impressioniste" was first heard in Paris.
Includes colour and black-and-white illustrations.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 01 / 1997
- 249 x 287mm