Barbizon School of Landscape Painting: History, Characteristics 4 390Раздел в процессе наполнения и корректировки
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Barbizon School of Landscape PaintingPlein Air Painting Movement: History, Characteristics. MAIN A-Z INDEX – A-Z of PAINTING
Ville d’Avray (1867) Jean-Baptiste Corot.National Gallery, Washington DC.
ContentsWhat is the Barbizon School? • Origins and History • Characteristics of Barbizon Landscape Painting • Barbizon Painters • Artist Schools/Colonies Inspired by Barbizon
Forest of Fontainebleau (1867) By Theodore RousseauBordeaux Museum of Fine Arts.
WORLDS TOP LANDSCAPESFor the greatest view painters, see:Best Landcape Artists
What is the Barbizon School? An important movement in French painting, the term ’Barbizon School’ refers to a group of painters who, around 1848, settled in and around the French village of Barbizon near the Fontainebleau forest. They were also known as the Fontainebleau Schooland their work is regarded as the strongest movement of purely landscape painting in nineteenth century France. Noted above all for their plein-air painting, Barbizon artists developed a remarkable naturalism, minutely observing natural settings. In so doing, they rejected many of the canons of academic art in their quest to establish a new and prosaic form of realist painting – an idiom that led directly to the socially aware realism of Gustave Courbet. Their paintings are mostly landscapes of plains, trees and forests, all rendered in a fluid style. The most famous representatives of the Barbizon School are Camille Corotand Theodore Rousseau , the latter being the organizer and leader of both the group and proponent of its theories. Other noteworthy figures were Jules Dupre (1811-89), whose work was characterized by the sombre use of light, and Jean-Francois Millet , a true innovator because of his unusual subject matter, which exalted the world of peasants and rural labour. Charles-Francois Daubigny , a specialist in landscapes featuring riverbanks, was also an important member of the group, as was the Spanish-born painter Narcisse Diaz de la Pena (1807-76).
The Gleaners (1857) By Jean-Francois Millet.Musee d’Orsay, Paris.
CLASSIFICATION OF THE ARTSFor a guide to the different formsof fine and decorative arts, please see: TYPES OF ART.
Origins and History Strongly influenced by 17th century Dutch landscapes, and outdoor painters like John Constable (1776-1837) and Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-28) of the English Landscape Painting tradition, the Barbizon School was an important step in the development of French landscape art away from Romanticism towards Realism. Perhaps not surprisingly for people whose country had been ravaged by the horrors of revolution, then war, French artists willingly went out in search of nature – the ’real’ France – which they portrayed in plein air Provincial settings. For conviviality and economy, they set up a number of rural artistic colonies – in places like Barbizon, and later at Grez-Sur-Loing, Pont-Aven, and Concarneau. (Similar artist colonies were set up at Skagen in Denmark, Abramtsevo in Russia, and at Newlyn, England). In America, the Barbizon outdoor style superceded the Hudson River School thanks to the efforts of George Inness (1825–1894). These movements and groups produced many of the world’s most famous landscape paintings, and were instrumental in making the nineteenth century a golden age of landscape art, culminating in the decorative optics of Monet’s Impressionism.
Characteristics of Barbizon Landscape Painting Barbizon painters rejected the classical tradition of landscape painting – exemplified by the likes of Claude Lorrain (1600-82), Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) or Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806) – with its carefully polished studio compositions in which intellectual scenery merely served as a backdrop for high-minded historical narratives. Instead – in the manner of earlier Dutch painters like Salomon van Ruysdael (1602-70), Aelbert Cuyp (1620-91), Jacob Van Ruisdael (1628-82) and Meindert Hobbema (1638-1709) – Barbizon artists sought to capture the actual light of the countryside and the actual colour they saw, rather than the intellectual scenery created by the likes of Claude Lorrain (1600-82), Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) or Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806). Put another way, they painted with their eyes not their head. Their principal technique was plein-air painting: unlike previous artists, who might make a few brief sketches outdoors but then retreat to their studios to begin painting, Barbizon members spent much more of their time painting direct from nature. This immersion in their surroundings led to a focus on the details of rural life, its seasons and – above all – its changing light and colour. The focus on everyday visual detail had a major influence on both the social realism of Gustave Courbet (1819-77) and the Impressionist paintings of Monet, Pisarro and Sisley. (In this regard see also Realism to Impressionism.) However, as we shall see, Barbizon "realism" was tinged with a high degree of romanticism and stopped well short of Corbet’s full-blooded radicalism. See it rather as a devotion to naturalism rather than realism proper.