This is first part of a pair of impressionistic forest landscapes in Fontainebleau near Barbison (for second painting see next item number) was executed by Joseph Antoine Adrien ROUSSEAU ( Carpentras1815-1851), the master of Barbison school, pupil of Paul Delaroche and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.
Inscriptions: signed and dated lower left "W (ilhlm) ine Schleicher 1862."
Technique: oil on canvas. Original period gold-plated frame.
Measurements: unframed w 29" x h 36 5/8" (73,5 x 93 cm), framed w 39" x h 46 1/4" (99 x 117,5 cm).
Condition: in very good original condition.
60 kilometers from Paris, on the edge of the Fontainebleau forest, a tiny hamlet, Barbizon, in the 19th century became the cradle of a new art: the landscape.
These painters fought against institutions and were the standard bearers of a new freedom.These painters took it upon themselves to make a large inventory of nature, drawing inspiration on the one hand from the Dutch landscape painters of the 17th century and English from the beginning of the 19th century, and on the other hand, by revolting against an Academy controlled by the bourgeoisie.
At the risk of being rejected and knowing difficult living conditions, these artists set out to paint what they liked. So they attacked the landscape, an art that was not yet recognized.The leaders of the Barbizon school were Georges Michel, Théodore Rousseau, Jean-François Millet and Corot. With them, the peasants were no longer part of the scenery but real actors. Most of the painters of the Barbizon school were excluded from the Salons who manifested a kind of revolt against the industrialization of society in their works. They strove to show the real countryside as the polluting towns around them grew, factories sprouted like mushrooms, rivers narrowed and roads began to stripe forests.
They were thus ecologists before the letter, seeking clean air and pristine panoramas far from the urban chaos.