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Village on the Seine near Vernon, 1872

Charles-François Daubigny

French, 1817-1878
Oil on canvas
33-5/8 x 57-5/8 in. (85.4 x 146.4 cm.)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

As popular among conservative academics as he was with the Impressionist avant-garde, Charles-François Daubigny was one of the most successful French landscape painters of the nineteenth century. He was a traditionally trained artist who came from a family of painters and was close friends with the equally lauded landscapist Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot. Yet it is Daubigny’s use of fluttering brushstrokes within the paradigm of academic, and particularly seventeenth-century Dutch landscape painting, that placed the artist uniquely between the Barbizon painters and Impressionist landscape artists like Claude Monet (also a close friend). This picture is an excellent example of the artist’s position between these old and new approaches to landscape painting. The wide expanse of sky, along with the bands of fore-, middle-, and background articulated by different tonalities of deep green, speak directly to the traditions of Dutch landscape painting. However, Daubigny’s quick and abbreviated brush strokes, which delicately delineate the foliage, the architectural elements of the village, and even the figures and ducks in the foreground, inescapably signal the modern landscapes to come.

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