School of Barbizon


The school of Barbizon



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.


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.


Daubigny, Charles-François (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;
  • he was appointed in the Légion d’honneur as a Chevalier in 1867? and as a Officier in 1874 (R231;iR1)
  • more info; pictures;


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;


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;



Français, François-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;


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;


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). In 1864 Millet received a medal at the Salon (R231).  More info; pictures;


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.


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.