under construction

Meeting and painting together

in Fontainebleau



Fontainebleau is a forest about 60km south-east of Paris. Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Bazille wanted to paint en-plein-air inspired by the Barbizon-painters. All four being pupils of Gleyre, they formed one of the circles of friends. Their painting in Fontainebleau is an important step for the impressionist art-movement. They went there many times during the years 1862-1871 (R30; R31), but it is not always clear who went when, see.
(For the general references (=R) see ; for references to internet pages (=iR) see; for the subscription of the pictures see. Most of the pictures come from (=iR2). My most important sources are the works of Dony (R30) and Raeburn (R31) about Renoir and of Wildenstein (R22) about Monet.)


Hôtel and Inn:

In April 1863 Renoir, Monet, Bazille and Sisley stayed at Auberge du Cheval-Blanc in Chailly-en-Bière (R30,p9; R22, p49). They also stayed in Hôtel du Lion in Chailly-en-Bière (west of Fontainebleau), where Monet one time was wounded.  Maybe in Spring 1865, with Pissarro, but without Bazille (R30,p9). They often stayed at ‘Cabaret de la Mère Anthony’ in Marlotte (R3) south of Fontainebleau, the Inn which Renoir painted in 1866, with Jules le Coeur standing and Sisley with the hat on (R31,no4). In Februar 1866 Sisley, Renoir and Jules le Coeur painted in the surroundings of Marlotte (where le Coeur had bought a house in 1865), Milly and Courances (R166,p91). By then Monet and Bazille were working in Chailly-en-Bière (R166,p91). In 1865 Renoir lives there with his brother Edmond and met Courbet (R30,p9). From February till April Renoir stays frequently with Sisley and Le Coeur in Marlotte (R31,p295). In the summer of 1866 Renoir alternately stays with Jules le Coeur and in ‘Mère Anthony’ (R30,p9) 

Bazille, 1865, Monet wounded at Hotel du Lion Chailly-en-Biere after his accident in 1865, 48×65, Orsay (iR2)

Renoir, 1866, CR20, The Inn of Mother Anthony, Le Cabaret de la mère Antony, 195×130, Nm Stockholm (iR2; R30,no14; R31,no4)


1865, Bazille, Village Street (Chailly), xx, private (iR2)

1866, Sisley, CR4, Street of Marlotte (Women Going to the Woods), 65×92, Tokyo (iR2)

1865, Monet, CR55, Farmyard at Chailly, 54×80, private (iR2; R22)

Portraits in Fontainebleau:

In 1865 Monet worked on his large painting ‘Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe’ in Chailly, west of Fontainebleau (R22,p58). In July 1867 Renoir portrayed Lise Tréhot also in Chailly-en-Bière (R30,no22). 

Monet, 1865, CR61, le déjeuner sur l’herbe (study), les promeneurs, 94×70, NGA Washington,
(Painted at Chailly; left figure is Bazille). (iR2; R22)

1867, Renoir, CR22, Portrait of Lise with Umbrella, 184×115, MF Essen,
also S1868-2113 (iR2; R30,no22)

Paths in the forest:

1865, Monet, CR58, Wooded Path, 59×80, private (iR2; R22)

1866, Renoir, The Painter Jules Le Coeur Walking His Dogs in the Forest of Fontainebleau, 106×80,  MA Sao Paulo (iR2; R30,no11; R31,no5)

1870, Sisley, Rural Guardsman in the Fountainbleau Forest, 78×64, private (iR2)

Clearings in the forest:

1865, Bazille, Landscape at Chailly, 82×105, AI Chicago (iR2)

1865, Renoir, CR9, Clearing in the Woods, 75×102 or 54×81, Detroit IA or Lefevre London (iR2; R30,no9)

Trees in the forest:

1865, Monet, CR60a,The Bodmer Oak, 54×50, private (iR2; R22)

1865, Monet, CR59, Forest of Fontainebleau,
50×65, Winterthur (iR2; R22)

Barbizon painters in Fontainebleau:

Fontainebleau already was famous because of the Barbizon-school. Since the 1820s they often painted here. Rousseau even moved to Barbizon (west of Fontainebleau) in 1836, Millet followed in 1849 and had Charles Jacque as neighbour (R59,p144+154). They still painted there in the years the Impressionists painted there. Anyway there had been encounters with Daubigny, Diaz and Corot (R32,p10). Renoir even destroyed his ‘Esmeralda’ exhibited at the Salon of 1864 because Diaz criticised his use of bitumen (R32,p11). 

1840, Dupré, Fontainebleau Oaks, 81×99, Minneapolis (iR2)

1846, Corot, CR502, Forest of Fontainebleau, 90×129, MFA Boston (iR2)

1860-62ca, Rousseau, A Clearing in the Forest of Fontainebleau, 77×145, Norfolk (iR2)

1865ca, Diaz, Pool in the Forest, 24×33, NGS Edinburgh-At
(c) National Galleries of Scotland; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

1865ca,Huet, Landscape – Hunter in the Forest of Fontainebleau, 37×53, Montpellier (iR2)

1870-73ca, Jacque, Herd of Sheep in the Forest of Fontainebleau, 68×99, private (iR2)