Barbizon School

An informal group of painters that was centered in the village of Barbizon around the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau. Influenced by John Constable and 17th century Dutch landscape painters, the Barbizon painters were concerned with depicting naturalistic settings and the dignity of peasant life. Because of their non-traditional approach to subject matter, it took until the 1850's for the individual members of the School to become critically accepted.

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
31121
Names
Barbizon School
Barbizon
School van Barbizon Dutch
Escuela de Barbizon Spanish

More Definitions

An informal group of painters that was centered in the village of Barbizon around the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau. Influenced by John Constable and 17th century Dutch landscape painters, the Barbizon painters were concerned with depicting naturalistic settings and the dignity of peasant life. Theodore Rousseau, the unofficial leader of the School, moved to the Fontainebleau region in 1841 and began acquiring disciples, such as Jean-Francois Millet, who would later become the most renown member of the Barbizon School, and whose work had more overt socialist overtones. Because of their non-traditional approach to subject matter, it took until the 1850's for the individual members of the School to become critically accepted. Rousseau, in fact, had been rejected by the Salons so often he garnered the nickname 'le grande refuse'. After several decades of success, the movement lost popularity with Millet's death in 1875. Though often seen as a transitional movement between classical landscape painting and Impressionism, the Barbizon School's importance lies with their plein-air landscape technique and humble, unpretentious subject matter.

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Bibliography

  1. 1.  The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, 300264658. The J. Paul Getty Trust.