Barbizon School of Painting (part 2)
They were T. Russo, D. de la Peña, J. Dupree, F. Millet. It was they who most often could be found here with a notebook and an easel, which, incidentally, was conveyed by K. Corot in the 1833 drawing “Artist in the Fontainebleau Forest”. In addition to them, G. Courbet, the sculptor A. Bari, visited Barbizon, capturing, like many barbizons, the views of the surrounding forests. The “Big Workshop in the Open Air” also attracted young growth – Daubigny, Troyon, Chantrail. Soon, the nearby towns of Marlotte and Chailles began to settle in, where mainly the artists of the next generation, Monet, Sisley, Cezanne, Sera, who did not forget the lessons of their teachers, mainly worked. At the end of the 19th century, the history of Fontainebleau ended with a pilgrimage of painters from England, Germany, Romania, Hungary and the United States of America. Even today, here you can meet people sitting under large umbrellas and writing sketches.
The school reached its peak in the 1850s. Many artists stayed at the owner of the White Horse Inn F. Ganne. He began to attach new rooms to the hotel, which housed studios. F. Millet worked in a small room, preferring, unlike others, to remain in Barbizon for the winter. For his famous painting “Angers-Luce”, representing the peasants for evening prayer in the field, the peasant Maria posed (there is a self-portrait drawing of the master, he captured himself for this work). In one of the former ateliers, a small museum of T. Russo, which lived for a long time in this village, is now open.
In the summer, artists staged real festivities. Artistic brothers lived happily, everyone worked happily. It is no coincidence that the largest representatives of the school created a number of genuine masterpieces here. They developed a new method of approach to nature, which entered into their flesh and blood. Like no one, the craftsmen appreciated the beauty of the forests of Fontainebleau and resolutely opposed a certain Budivier, a representative of the local government, when he wanted to cut down trees and drain part of the swamps.
Artists had to fight for recognition. Their works were often rejected by the jury, which controlled access to the exhibitions of the Paris Salon. Russo, Dupree, Daubigny, Millet together with writers, critics created a committee to represent their interests. They demanded the right to exhibit paintings without prior selection. The “Free Society of Painters and Sculptors” united up to hundreds of French masters. Fortunately, the revolution of 1848 swept away the old rules, the new Salon was created without a jury, it became a “landscape festival”.