Barbizon school

The Barbizon school of painters were part of an art movement towards Realism in art, which arose in the context of the dominant Romantic Movement of the time. The Barbizon school was active roughly from 1830 through 1870. It takes its name from the village of Barbizon, France, near the Forest of Fontainebleau, where many of the artists gathered. Some of the most prominent features of this school are its tonal qualities, color, loose brushwork, and softness of form.[1]


In 1824 the Salon de Paris exhibited works of John Constable, an English painter. His rural scenes influenced some of the younger artists of the time, moving them to abandon formalism and to draw inspiration directly from nature. Natural scenes became the subjects of their paintings rather than mere backdrops to dramatic events. During the Revolutions of 1848 artists gathered at Barbizon to follow Constable's ideas, making nature the subject of their paintings. The French landscape became a major theme of the Barbizon painters.[2]

The leaders of the Barbizon school were Théodore Rousseau, Jean-François Millet, and Charles-François Daubigny; other members included Jules Dupré, Constant Troyon, Charles Jacque, Narcisse Virgilio Díaz, Pierre Emmanuel Damoye, Charles Olivier de Penne, Henri Harpignies, Paul-Emmanuel Péraire, Gabriel-Hippolyte Lebas, Albert Charpin, Félix Ziem, François-Louis Français, Émile van Marcke, and Alexandre Defaux.

Millet extended the idea from landscape to figures — peasant figures, scenes of peasant life, and work in the fields. In The Gleaners (1857), for example, Millet portrays three peasant women working at the harvest. Gleaners are poor people who are permitted to gather the remains after the owners of the field complete the main harvest. The owners (portrayed as wealthy) and their laborers are seen in the back of the painting. Millet shifted the focus and the subject matter from the rich and prominent to those at the bottom of the social ladders. To emphasize their anonymity and marginalized position, he hid their faces. The women's bowed bodies represent their everyday hard work.

In the spring of 1829, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot came to Barbizon to paint in the Forest of Fontainebleau, he had first painted in the forest at Chailly in 1822. He returned to Barbizon in the autumn of 1830 and in the summer of 1831, where he made drawings and oil studies, from which he made a painting intended for the Salon of 1830; "View of the Forest of Fontainebleau'" (now in the National Gallery in Washington) and, for the salon of 1831, another "View of the Forest of Fontainebleau"'. While there he met the members of the Barbizon school; Théodore Rousseau, Paul Huet, Constant Troyon, Jean-François Millet, and the young Charles-François Daubigny.[3]

During the late 1860s, the Barbizon painters attracted the attention of a younger generation of French artists studying in Paris. Several of those artists visited Fontainebleau Forest to paint the landscape, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille.[4] In the 1870s those artists, among others, developed the art movement called Impressionism and practiced plein air painting.

Both Théodore Rousseau (1867) and Jean-François Millet (1875) died at Barbizon.

Influence in Europe

Painters in other countries were also influenced by this art. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, many artists came to Paris from Austria-Hungary to study the new movements. For instance, the Hungarian painter János Thorma studied in Paris as a young man. In 1896 he was one of the founders of the Nagybánya artists' colony in what is now Baia Mare, Romania, which brought impressionism to Hungary. In 2013 the Hungarian National Gallery opens a major retrospective of his work, entitled, ''János Thorma, the Painter of the Hungarian Barbizon, 8 February - 19 May 2013, Hungarian National Gallery[5]


Forest of Fontainebleau-1830-Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, View of the Forest of Fontainebleau (1830)

Théodore Rousseau 001

Théodore Rousseau, Barbizon landscape, ca. 1850, Pushkin Museum, Moscow

Charles-François Daubigny - Rijzende maan in Barbizon

Charles-François Daubigny Rising Moon in Barbizon, c. 1850s, Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent

Constant Troyon - The Ford - WGA23096

Constant Troyon, The Ford, 1852, Louvre

Brooklyn Museum - The Old Forest - Charles-Émile Jacque

Charles Jacque, The Old Forest, c. 1860s, Brooklyn Museum

Diaz de la Pena - Foret of Fontainebleau

Narcisse Virgilio Díaz, Forest of Fontainebleau, 1868, Dallas Museum of Art

Henri Harpignies 002

Henri Harpignies, Landscape with two figures, c. 1870s, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Related artists

See also


  1. ^ Craven, Wayne (1994). American Art: History and Culture. New York: Harry N. Adams, Inc. p. 332.
  2. ^ Metropolitan Museum of Art timeline
  3. ^ Pomaréde, Vincent, Le ABCdaire de Corot et le passage français (1996), Flammarion, Paris, (ISBN 2-08-012466-8)
  4. ^ Heilbrunn Timeline, Metropolitan Museum of Art
  5. ^ János Thorma, the Painter of the Hungarian Barbizon, 8 February - 19 May 2013, Hungarian National Gallery

Suggested sources

  • Catalogues des Collections des Musees de France. Ministère de la culture. (Catalogs of Collections of Museums of France. Ministry of Culture.)

External links

American Barbizon school

The American Barbizon School was a group of painters and style partly influenced by the French Barbizon school, who were noted for their simple, pastoral scenes painted directly from nature. American Barbizon artists concentrated on painting rural landscapes often including peasants or farm animals.

William Morris Hunt was the first American to work in the Barbizon style as he directly trained with Jean-François Millet in 1851-1853. When he left France, Hunt established a studio in Boston and worked in the Barbizon manner, bringing the style to the United States of America.The Barbizon approach was generally not accepted until the 1880s and reached its pinnacle of popularity in the 1890s.

Art movement

An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a restricted period of time, (usually a few months, years or decades) or, at least, with the heyday of the movement defined within a number of years. Art movements were especially important in modern art, when each consecutive movement was considered as a new avant-garde.

Art periods

This is a chronological list of periods in Western art history. An art period is a phase in the development of the work of an artist, groups of artists or art movement.

Barbizon Modeling and Acting School

Barbizon Modeling and Acting School is an international modeling and acting school headquartered in Tampa, Florida that provides instructional courses in modeling, acting and personal development including self-confidence development, proper posture, photo movement, voice diction, etiquette, job interviewing, makeup application, and runway.


Bernheim-Jeune gallery is one of the oldest art galleries in Paris.

Opened on Rue Laffitte in 1863 by Alexandre Bernheim (1839-1915), friend of Delacroix, Corot and Courbet, it changed location a few times before settling on Avenue Matignon. It is still managed by members of the same family. The gallery promoted realists, Barbizon school paintings and, in 1874, the first impressionist and later post-impressionist painters.

Charles-François Daubigny

Charles-François Daubigny (15 February 1817 – 19 February 1878) was one of the painters of the Barbizon school, and is considered an important precursor of impressionism.

Constant Troyon

Constant Troyon (August 28, 1810 – February 21, 1865) was a French painter of the Barbizon school. In the early part of his career he painted mostly landscapes. It was only comparatively late in life that Troyon found his métier as a painter of animals, and achieved international recognition.

Edward Mitchell Bannister

Edward Mitchell Bannister (November 2, 1828 – January 9, 1901) was a Black Canadian-American Tonalist painter. Like other Tonalists, his style and predominantly pastoral subject matter were drawn from his admiration for Millet and the French Barbizon School.

En plein air

En plein air (French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃ plɛn ɛːʁ], French for outdoors, or plein air painting) is the act of painting outdoors. This method contrasts with studio painting or academic rules that might create a predetermined look.

Félix Ziem

Félix Ziem (26 February 1821 – 10 November 1911) was a French painter in the style of the Barbizon School, who also produced some Orientalist works.

Hague School

The Hague School is a group of artists who lived and worked in The Hague between 1860 and 1890. Their work was heavily influenced by the realist painters of the French Barbizon school. The painters of the Hague school generally made use of relatively somber colors, which is why the Hague School is sometimes called the Gray School.

Joaquim Vayreda

Joaquim Vayreda i Vila (23 May 1843 – 31 October 1894) was a Spanish landscape painter. He was originally influenced by the Barbizon school, but later became one of the founders of the Olot school.

Jules Dupré

Jules Dupré (April 5, 1811 – October 6, 1889) was a French painter, one of the chief members of the Barbizon school of landscape painters. If Corot stands for the lyric and Rousseau for the epic aspect of the poetry of nature, Dupré is the exponent of his tragic and dramatic aspects.Dupré was born in Nantes. He exhibited first at the Salon in 1831, and three years later was awarded a second-class medal. In the same year he came to England, where he was impressed by the genius of Constable. From then on he learned how to express movement in nature; and the districts around Southampton and Plymouth, with its wide, unbroken expanses of water, sky and ground, gave him good opportunities for studying the tempestuous motion of storm-clouds and the movement of foliage driven by the wind. He was named an Officer of the French Légion d'honneur in 1848. His daughter Therese-Marthe-Francoise also became a painter.

Dupré's colour is sonorous and resonant. He showed preference for using dramatic sunset effects and stormy skies and seas as the subjects of his paintings. Late in life he changed his style and gained appreciably in largeness of handling and arrived at greater simplicity in his colour harmonies. Among his chief works are the Morning and Evening at the Louvre, and the early Crossing the Bridge in the Wallace Collection.

List of art movements

See Art periods for a chronological list.This is a list of art movements in alphabetical order. These terms, helpful for curricula or anthologies, evolved over time to group artists who are often loosely related. Some of these movements were defined by the members themselves, while other terms emerged decades or centuries after the periods in question.

Newlyn School

The Newlyn School was an art colony of artists based in or near Newlyn, a fishing village adjacent to Penzance, on the south coast of Cornwall, from the 1880s until the early twentieth century. The establishment of the Newlyn School was reminiscent of the Barbizon School in France, where artists fled Paris to paint in a more pure setting emphasizing natural light. These schools along with a related California movement were also known as En plein air.

Some of the first British artists to settle in the area had already travelled in Brittany, but found in Newlyn a comparable English environment with a number of things guaranteed to attract them: fantastic light, cheap living, and the availability of inexpensive models. The artists were fascinated by the fishermen's working life at sea and the everyday life in the harbour and nearby villages. Some paintings showed the hazards and tragedy of the community's life, such as women anxiously looking out to sea as the boats go out, or a young woman crying on hearing news of a disaster. Walter Langley is generally recognised as the pioneer of the Newlyn art colony and Stanhope Forbes, who settled there in 1884, as the father of it. The later Forbes School of Painting, founded by Forbes and his wife Elizabeth in 1899, promoted the study of figure painting. A present-day Newlyn School of Art was formed in 2011 with Arts Council funding providing art courses taught by many of the best-known artists working in Cornwall today.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Lamorna, a nearby fishing village to the south, became popular with artists of the Newlyn School and is particularly associated with the artist S. J. "Lamorna" Birch who lived there from 1908.

Paul Durand-Ruel

Paul Durand-Ruel (31 October 1831, Paris – 5 February 1922, Paris) was a French art dealer who is associated with the Impressionists and the Barbizon School. He was one of the first modern art dealers who provided support to his painters with stipends and solo exhibitions.

Paul Trouillebert

Paul Désiré Trouillebert (1829 in Paris, France – 28 June, 1900 in Paris, France) was a famous French Barbizon School painter in the mid-nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries.

Trees and Undergrowth (Van Gogh series)

Trees and Undergrowth is the subject of paintings that Vincent van Gogh made in Paris, Saint-Rémy and Auvers, from 1887 through 1890. Van Gogh made several paintings of undergrowth, a genre called "sous-bois" brought into prominence by artists of the Barbizon School and Impressionists. The works from this series successfully use shades of color and light in the forest or garden interior paintings. Van Gogh selected one of his Saint-Rémy paintings, Ivy (F609) for the Brussels Les XX exhibition in 1890.

Wood splitters

Wood splitters is a 1886 painting by the Australian artist Tom Roberts. The painting depicts three rural labourers "splitting and stacking timber for the preparation of charcoal". Roberts, influenced by the Barbizon school and Jules Bastien-Lepage, would later return to the theme of rural men working in his works A break away! and Shearing the Rams.Roberts painted the picture from sketches made at a camp he made with Frederick McCubbin at Box Hill, then a rural locality east of Melbourne.The painting was acquired by the Art Gallery of Ballarat in 1961. The work was stolen from the gallery in 1978. A ransom was paid the following year for the safe recovery of the painting from a park in Sydney.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.