Accession Number


Charles François Daubigny

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
oil on panel

11 15/16 in x 20 7/16 in (30.32 cm x 51.91 cm);18 1/2 in x 27 in (46.99 cm x 68.58 cm)

Credit Line
Bequest of Carl F. Clarke

Label copy
March 28 2009
The invention of paint in tubes in 1841 allowed artists to be more mobile. The Barbizon painters, a loose group of artists that took their name from a village on the edge of the Fontainebleau forest, not far from Paris, often painted directly on canvas at a site. These artists, who were united by their interest in making a faithful record of what was seen, also rejected the conventions of Academic classical landscapes going back to the seventeenth century, which presented idealized, formally composed, highly finished landscapes that were based on sketches but realized in the studio. Instead of being a background for heroic deeds or high drama, their paintings take landscape as their only subject. They are the result of direct observation of modest rural views of woods, fields, and, in Daubigny’s case, river valleys. Daubigny had a boat fitted out as a studio that he used to travel extensively along France’s waterways, stopping to paint whenever he found a scenic spot. He was one of the first artists to take an interest in the changing and fleeting aspects of nature, which he rendered in a light and rapid manner. The Impressionists knew Daubigny’s paintings and adopted his free brushwork and habit of working outdoors.

Subject matter
Known for his plein air painting, Daubigny created luminous and quiet views of the French countryside and showed regularly in the official juried Salon exhibitions in Paris. This rural river scene has the direct observation and freely applied paint typical of the Barbizon style. In order to get these unique views, Daubigny constructed a studio-boat from which he could paint views along the Seine and other waterways in France.

Physical Description
This painting depicts a quiet rural scene. A river runs from the foreground back into the distance, flanked on either side by green trees along the banks. A twilight sky dominates with salmon and blue hues. Ducks or geese fly just above the trees at right. A small figure fishing is visible on the left bank. The painting is signed and dated in paint (l.r.) "Daubigny 1870" (the date is somewhat obliterated).

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

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Barbizon School
fishermen (people)
landscapes (representations)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted

On display

UMMA Gallery Location ➜ AMH, 2nd floor ➜ 206 (Thomas H. and Polly W. Bredt Gallery)