The forest at Fontainebleau was a favorite subject of Barbizon artists, who were by its beauty and its proximity to Paris. Rousseau, a premier Barbizon painter, was attacked by critics in the 1830s and 1840s for his humble farm and forest scenes, which they considered to be “vulgar.” The two figures in this landscape may be Rousseau himself and the adopted daughter of George Sand; the two were engaged in 1845.
Charcoal, with stumping and black pastel, heightened with touches of white chalk, on dark tan wove paper, laid down on tan wood pulp board
28.5 × 42.4 cm (11 1/4 × 16 3/4 in.)
Harold Joachim Purchase Fund
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Harold Joachim, French Drawings and Sketchbooks of the Nineteenth Century in The Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, 1979), no. 5F10.
Michel Schulman, Théodore Rousseau 1812-1867: Catalogue Raisonné de l’œuvre Graphique (Paris, 1997), p. 239, no. 460 (ill.).
Paris, Galerie Christian Aubay, June 1967, cat. 39.
Paris, Musée du Louvre, “Dessins français de l’Art Institute de Chicago de Watteau à Picasso,” October 15, 1976-January 17, 1977, n.p., cat. 44 (ill.).
Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, “Französische Zeichnungen aus dem Art Institute of Chicago,” February 10-April 10, 1977, pp. 96-97, cat. 45 (ill.).
Munich, Bayerischen Staatsgemäldesammlungen and Haus der Kunst, “Corot, Courbet und die Maler von Barbizon: Les amis de la nature,” February 2-April 21, 1996, pp. 367 (ill.) and 400, cat. C83.
The Art Institute of Chicago, May 1, 1987-July 24, 1989.
The Art Institute of Chicago, “Souvenirs of the Barbizon: Photographs, Paintings and Works on Paper”, July 2 - September 25, 2011.
Sold by B. C. Holland, Chicago, to the Art Institute, 1967.
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