Barbizon school [key], an informal school of French landscape painting that flourished c.1830–1870. Its name derives from the village of Barbizon, a favorite residence of the painters associated with the school. Théodore Rousseau was the principal figure of the group, which included the artists Jules Dupré, Narciso Diaz de la Peña, Constant Troyon, and Charles-François Daubigny. These men reacted against the conventions of classical landscape and advocated a direct study of nature. Their work was strongly influenced by 17th-century Dutch landscape masters including Ruisdael, Cuyp, and Hobbema. Corot and Millet are often associated with the Barbizon group, but in fact Corot's poetic approach and Millet's humanitarian outlook place them outside the development of the school. The Barbizon painters helped prepare for the subsequent development of the impressionist schools. Paintings of the Barbizon school were very popular with American collectors of the late 19th and early 20th cent. and influenced American painters of this period. The school is well represented in American collections, notably the Corcoran Gallery, the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, New Orleans, the Metropolitan Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
See American Art Assn., Master Prints of the Barbizon School (1970); studies by J. Bouret (tr. 1973) and C. R. Sprague (1982).
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