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Here you will find short info on Pre-Impressionists who inspired the Impressionists. Important were the painters from the school of Barbizon (or: Fontainebleau) and the English landscapists. Also important were: Courbet and Jongkind. You also will find links to more info on Wikipedia (=iR3) and pictures on (=iR2) and Wikimedia (=iR6). See here for the general references (=R) and here for the references to internet pages (=iR). See here for explanation of the subscription of the paintings.


English landscapists:

The English landscapist turned against the painting of idealized landscapes and began painting landscapes as they are, rendering it in a pure, natural way (R58, p121+144). Also rendering the special mood and atmosphere of the landscape influenced by the different weather conditions and the different circumstances of light (R3,p20).
In 1824 Bonington and Constable won a golden medal for their paintings exhibited at the Paris Salon. They inspired the painters of the Barbizon school and also Delacroix (R59, p51/2; R3,p19). In England in 1871: Monet and Pissarro were inspired by Constable, Turner and others. Pissarro also criticize them: ‘they have no idea how to analyse shadow’ (R5,p71).


Bonington, Richard-Parkes (1801-1828)

1816: moved to Calais, France. Salon 1824: gold medal; inspired members of the Barbizon-school (R59, p.51). Befriended with Delacroix (R3,p23). 1825: painted in Fontainebleau. Painted many seascapes with large skies; also city views. Tried to render atmosphere and catch the light (R58,p163). He used many greyish tones and his brushstroke is quite smooth. He died young at the age of 27. More info; pictures.

S1824, Bonington, 1824ca, A fish market near Boulogne, 82×123, YCBA New Haven (iR2)

Bonington, 1825ca, In the Forest at Fontainebleau, 32×24, New-Haven (iR2)

Bonington, 1826-28, Venice Grand Canal, sunset, 44×61, Sotheby’s 1989, (iR3; iR2)
Constable, John (1776-1836)

Salon 1824: gold medal; inspired members of the Barbizon-school. He was a master of clouds, wind and turbulent skies (R61,p20). He often dated on the back of his oil sketches location, date and time of day (R61, p14). Painted his oil-paint studies en-plein-air (R60,p47). Constable his brushstroke was more expressive in his studies, trying to catch a casual effect. He wrestled with loosing this effect when he added details, which he did with the finished paintings he submitted to the Royal Academy (the British equivalent of the Paris Salon). These full scale studies were done with oil paint and (probably) en-plein-air (R58, p145-9). More info; pictures.

S1824, Constable, 1821, The Hay Wain, 130×185, NG London (iR2)
Constable, 1828-29ca, Sketch for ‘Hadleigh Castle’, 123×167, ©Tate


Constable, 1829, Hadleigh Castle, the Mouth of the Thames, 122×165, ©New-Haven
Turner, Joseph Mallord William (1775-1851)

Turner often used dramatic elements. Some of his later paintings are close to abstraction, as he said himself ‘light dissolves form’ (R58, p.120). xxx
More info; pictures; .

Turner, 1826, The Harbor of Dieppe, 174×225, Frick NY (iR2)

Turner, 1834-35ca, The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834, 93×123, Cleveland MA (iR2)

Turner, 1844ca, Rail, Steam and Speed – the Great Western Railway, 91×122, NG London (iR2)



The school of Barbizon (or: Fontainebleau):

Inspired by the English landscapists, the painters who were later named Barbizon-school, started painting real landscapes en-plein-air and especially in the forest of Fontainebleau. 1822: Corot started to visit Fontainebleau,  followed by Huet, Aligny and Rousseau. 1836: Rousseau started to live in Barbizon, Corot in 1849 (R59). They received their name only after 1890 (R3,p24).
Alike the Impressionists they often rendered the light influenced by the time of day, season and weather conditions. Although they sometimes rendered bright colours, their palet mostly was quite dark using a lot of browns, dark greens and greys. Their brushstrokes were more loose (R60,p30), but compared to the juxtaposed brushstrokes of the Impressionists still quite smooth.  Several of them were involved in initiatives for an (independent) exhibition apart from the Salon. Corot, Daubigny and Diaz in 1867 + 1869 and Rousseau only in 1867. But they didn’t join the ‘Société Anonyme…’ nor the ‘impressionist’ expositions. More info + info (=iR22).

Aligny, Théodore Caruelle d’ (1798-1871)

1828-40: yearly painted in Fontainebleau (R59,p.8). Befriended with Corot since 1825 (R60,p39). Salon 1837: medal first class. Painted several religious and mythological themes; renders contrasts between light and shadow (R60,p39).  more info;

Cabat, Nicolas-Louis (1812-1893)

Landscapist; befriended with the Barbizon-painters.

Aligny, S1833, Vue prise des carriers de grés du Mont Saint-Père, 163×215, Clermont-Ferrand (iR2)

Cabat, 1875, A Shepherd with his Flock, 60×101, private (iR2)
Chintreuil, Antoine (1814-1873)

Chintreuil was a pre-impressionist: often renders the influence of weather and the time of day; but his brushstroke stays more smooth. 1870: member of the jury of the Paris Salon (R59, p.184); Salon 1872: see . More info; pictures; more pictures.

Chintreuil, 1870 ca, Les vapeurs du soir, paysage, xx, PBA Lille (iR6)

Chintreuil, S1872, 18xx, Pommiers et genêts en fleurs, 101×226, Villefrance-sur-Saône, iR6)
Corot, Jean-Baptiste Camille (1796-1875)
  • 1822: first paintings outdoors, also at Fontainebleau (R59, p8; R61, p12+15).
  • Especially the 1850s onwards he made some monumental portraits (R61,p33). The 1840s onwards he uses many silvery tones (R61,26). An important element in his paintings is the rendering of a harmonic mood (R61,p32)
  • Paintings he submitted to the Salon were mostly paintings with historical / mythological / religious themes. He painted these in his studio; they were mostly composed of parts from studies painted en-plein-air, his memories and imagination and examples of old masters (R59, p115; R60, p89; R61,p9).
  • In 1849, 51, 65 + 70: member of the Paris Salon jury, defended the Impressionists (R61, p39; R59, p177); 1867: supported Bazille’s request for an independent exposition; teacher of Pissarro, Morisot and Lépine (R59,p177-8; R60,p54+66; R61,p29) and an informal teacher of Rouart (R45,p9). Rouart also had a large collection of works of Corot (R45; see).
  • Corot received a maintenance from his parents of 2000 francs a year. He sold his first painting just in 1840 (R60,p29) and only in the early 1850s collectors became seriously interested in his work (R61,p24).
  • Corot can be seen as a pre-impressionist: painted en-plein-air; often rendered the time of day (1858: also in serie); he often used rather bright colours; 1865: in his most impressionistic painting he used purplish shadows and pinkish browns, see as he did already in 1826 (R61,no.3); still he often used many greys, browns and dark greens; his brushstroke also stays rather smooth.
  • more info; pictures;

Corot, S1830+S1834, 1830ca, View of the Forest of Fontainebleau, 176×243, NG Washington (iR2)

Corot, 1865, Le chemin a Sevres (The Sevres Road), 34×49, Louvre (iR2)

Corot, 1858ca, The Four Times of the Day, Evening, 143×72, NG London (iR2)
Daubigny, Charles-Francois (1817-1878)
  • 1843: moved to Barbizon; 1857: studio-boat ‘Le Bottin’ (R59, p.193); 1860 moved to Auvers-sur-Oise, painted here with Corot and Daumier;
  • 1865, 68 + 70 member of the jury of the Paris Salon, defended the Impressionists; 1870: introduced Monet in London to Durand-Ruel;
  • pre-impressionist; one of the first who  painted en-plein-air; in many of his pictures he renders the time of day; his brushstroke sometimes is quite lively; 1878: exhibited at the Paris World Fair a quite impressionistic painting, see; mainly a landscapist; often used greyish, brownish and dark green tones;
  • more info; pictures;

Daubigny, 1873, The Beach at Villerville at Sunset,123×187, Norfolk (iR2)

Daubigny, EU1878, 1877, Moonrise at Auvers (Return of the Flock), 107×188, Montreal (iR2)
 Diaz de la Pena, Narcisse (1807-1876)

1830’s often paints in Fontainebleau (with Rousseau); shared a studio there with Millet. 1864: advised Renoir not to use bitumen-black (R32, p12). 1867: supported Bazille’s request for an independent exposition. He had not much succes at the Salon, but good sells through art-dealers (up to 8.000 franc; R59, p.184).
Diaz is a pre-impressionist: often rendered the time of day and the influence of weather (especially storms). His landscapes are not very bright using a lot of browns, greys and dark greens; also painted mythological, religious and oriental themes and some still lives. more info; pictures;

Diaz, 1870, The Approaching Storm, 84×106, Pasadena (iR2)

Diaz, 1871, Forest of Fontainebleau, Autumn, 78×65, Baltimore (iR2)

Diaz, 1871, Sunset of the Turbulent Sea, 79×107, private (iR2)
Dupré, Jules (1811-1889)
  • Salon 1834: second-class medal; 1839: protest against the rejection of Rousseau; in general not much succes at the Salon, but good sells through art-dealers (R59, p.184);
  • Dupré is an pre-impressionist: he often renders the time of day and the influence of the weather; his brushstroke is often quite vivid, see; still his palet is quite dark and grey.
  • more info; pictures;

Dupré, 1833, The Outskirts of Plymouth, xx, private (iR2)

Dupré, 1865-70, A Fisherman, 46×38, NGC Edinburgh (iR2)

Dupré, 1870ca, The Old Oak, 32×42, NGA Washington (iR2)
Francais, Francois-Louis (1814-97)

Landscapist, befriended with the Barbizon-painters. 1837: debut at the Salon. Pupil of Corot. More info; more info (=iR4).

Huet, Paul (1803-1869)

Influenced by the English landscapists; befriended with Bonington (R60,p66). First started painting in Fontainebleau in the mid-1820s (R59, p.8). Often painted with Corot, especially in Honfleur and Fontainebleau (R60,p66). Worked often with Delacroix. Salon 1848: gold medal; Exposition Universel 1855: medal.
Huet was a pre-impressionist: painted en-plein-air since 1815, especially landscapes full of movement and harassment (R60,p66); his brushstroke sometimes is quite lively, seemore info; pictures; more pictures;

Huet, 1830, Chaumière normande, vieux Trouville, 23×38, Louvre (iR2)

Huet, 1835ca, The Harvest, 64×80, private (iR2)

Huet, 1853, Breakers at Granville Point, 68×103, Louvre (iR2)
Jacque, Charles-Emile (1813-94)

Neighbour of Millet in Barbizon since 1847. Painted many animals, especially flocks of sheep.
Pre-impressionist: used bright colours in several pictures, see; still the browns, greys and dark greens dominate; his brushstroke is mostly smooth, rendering detail. More info; pictures;

Jacque, 18xx, Ploughing (Labourage), 86×165, Christies (iR15)

Jacque, 1859, Springtime (Le Printemps), 107×77, private (iR2)
Millet, Jean-Francois (1814-1875)

1846: acquaintance with other Barbizon-Painters. 1849: moved to Barbizon , neighbour of Jacque (R3,p27; R59, p.144); became close friends with Rousseau. Millet was a pre-impressionist: more than once rendered the time of day, season and weather conditions; in most of his paintings the browns and greys are dominant. He was an informal teacher of Rouart (R45,p9), who also owned a large collection of his works (see).  More info; pictures;

Millet, 1857-59, Angelus, 56×66, Louvre (iR2; iR3)

Millet, 1862-4, Bergère avec son troupeau, 81×101, Louvre (iR2)

Millet, 1861ca, Potato Planters, 83×101, MFA Boston (iR2)
Rousseau, Theodore (1812-1867)
  • Leader of the Barbizon-school (R59, p.102). 1827: first visited Fontainebleau; 1836 started to live in Barbizon (R59, p8). Befriended with Millet, Dupré and Diaz.
  • Painted merely (deserted) landscapes.
  • Salon 1834: third-class medal; refused in 1836, 37, 38; stopt submitting; supported by his friends who also stopped submitting; 1847 attempt to establish an independent Salon; 1849 accepted again (R59, p.103-112).
  • 1867: supported Bazille’s request for an independent exposition; 1867: president of the jury of the Paris Salon (R59, p.183).
  • Rousseau was a pre-impressionist: he rendered the time of day and the influence of season and weather; his palet is quite dark with many browns, dark greens and greys; his brushstroke ( in smaller pictures) sometimes is quite expressive.
  • More info; pictures.

Rousseau, 1830-39ca, Market Place in Normandy, 30×38, Hermitage (iR2)

Rousseau, 1840, A Tree in Fontainebleau Forest, 40×54, VAM-London (iR2)

Rousseau, 1851, The Forest of Fontainbleau, Morning, 98×134, Wallace coll (iR2)
Troyon, Constant (1810-1865)
  • Influenced by Dutch landscapist Paulus Potter; merely a landscapist, after 1850 dominant with animals, and already in 1837 on a large canvas; made small series of a same theme.
  • 1849: Legion d’Honneur; 1855: member of the admissions jury for the Exposition Universelle; sold his paintings for 5.000 francs (R59, p.162).
  • Troyon was a pre-impressionist: his colours often were quite bright; he often rendered the time of day, see.
  • More info; pictures.

Troyon, 1849, The Approaching Storm, 116×158, NGA Washington (iR2)

Troyon, 1852ca, Cows in the Field, 93×75, Hermitage (iR2)

Troyon, 1859, On the Way to the Market, 261×211, Hermitage (iR2)


Other Pre-Impressionists:

Important other Pre-Impressionists were Courbet, Daumier and Jongkind.

Courbet, Gustave (1819-1877)
  • Realist; pre-impressionist;
  • 1855 solo-exhibition in his own ‘Pavillon du Réalisme’ (R59,p142);
  • Painted with Monet, Boudin and Jongkind;
  • 1866/05/03: sells works for 150.000 franc (R5,p39)
  • 1867/04/08: opens his own ‘Pavillon du Réalisme’ near the ‘Exposition International Universelle’ (R5,p43)
  • 1867 + 1869 he supports initiatives for an (independent) exhibition apart from the Salon (see)
  • 1871/03/28: in the Paris Commune responsible for the Fine Arts; abolishes the Ecole des Beaux-Arts en the awards of the Paris Salon (R5,p69)
    1871/05/16: leading role in the abolition of the column of Napoleon on the Place Vendôme (R5,p70)
  • 1873, June: released from imprisonment; shortly afterwards goes in exile in the Swiss (R5,p79)
Daumier, Honoré (1808-1879)


Jongkind, Johan Barthold (1819-91)
  • Born in Holland; 1846 moved to Paris;
  • pré-impressionist; In 1868 Zola wrote: ‘His work seems like rough sketches put down in haste for fear of losing the first impression.’ (R59, p186)
  • 1872+1873: is related to initiatives for an (independant0 exhibition apart from the Salon (see).