Barbizon School Art Movement

France 1830 - 1895

Barbizon School Art Movement,  Barbizon Paintings & Artists.

The Barbizon School Art Movement was part of an artistic movement towards Realism in art, which emerged with regards to the overwhelming Romantic Movement of the time. The town of Barbizon in France, close to the Forest of Fontainebleau, is the place it takes its name from and is one of the most famous villages in art history.

It took the French to Recognize John Constable Greatness.

In 1824 the Salon de Paris exhibited works of English painter John Constable. His provincial scenes affected a part of the more younger artists of the time to surrender formalism and to draw motivation from nature. During the Revolutions of 1848 artists gathered at Barbizon to follow Constable's ideas.

The pioneers 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, Gabriel-Hippolyte Lebas, Albert Charpin, Félix Ziem, François-Louis Français, Émile van Marcke, and Alexandre Defaux.

Poor People Become Fashionable in Art.

Millet brought in peasant life into the paintings in addition to the landscapes. In The Gleaners, Millet depicts three peasant women working at the harvest. Gleaners are poor people who are allowed to gather scraps after the completion the main harvest. Here, the workers in the field are exalted by a composition that transforms them into heroic protagonists, bathed in a solemn and sacred atmosphere. In this acclaimed painting, the depth of the horizon and the peaceful hours in the field gives Romantic respectability on the difficult back-breaking work of the poor gleaners.

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot had first painted outdoors in the backwoods at Chailly in 1822, but in the spring of 1829, he went to Barbizon to paint in the Forest of Fontainebleau. He came back to Barbizon in the fall of 1830 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, and in the summer of 1834 for that year's Salon, another Forest of Fontainebleau was made. While there he met many members of the Barbizon school; Théodore Rousseau, Paul Huet, Constant Troyon, Jean-François Millet, and the young Charles-François Daubigny.

During the late 1860s, the Barbizon painters attracted the attention of a younger generation of future famous artists studying in Paris. Several of those artists went to Fontainebleau Forest to paint the landscape, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille. In the 1870s those artists, among others, developed the art movement called Impressionism and practiced plein air painting. Painters in different nations were likewise affected by this art. Starting in the late nineteenth century, many artists came to Paris from Austria-Hungary to study the new movement.

The American Barbizon School.

The American Barbizon School was a gathering of painters and style somewhat affected by the French Barbizon School, who were noted for their straightforward, peaceful scenes painted from nature. American Barbizon artists focused on painting country scenes including peasants workers or farm animals. William Morris Hunt was the first American to work in the Barbizon art styles as he trained with Jean-François Millet in 1851-1853. When he exited France, Hunt set up a studio in Boston and worked in the Barbizon way, conveying the style to the United States. The American Barbizon course of events began later and was for the most part not acknowledged until the 1880s and achieved its apex of fame in the 1890s.

How to Identify Barbizon Art Paintings?

1. Natural landscape scenes turned into the subjects of their artworks instead of simple backgrounds to sensational events.
2. Its tonal qualities, color, free brushwork and delicate quality of form distinguish this type of art.
3. The topics also included figures, peasant figures, scenes of peasant life and work in the fields.

Partly from: Wikipedia

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