As a leading artist of the Barbizon school, Daubigny was committed to naturalism and often worked outdoors, either on land or from a boat he converted into a floating studio. This proclivity was appreciated by a circle of younger artists who would come to be known as the Impressionists. In addition to working as a landscape painter, in the 1830s and -40s Daubigny created illustrations for books, magazines, and travel guides. Advancements in both the national railway system and affordable book printing created a demand for guidebooks to accompany travelers as they discovered this still-new mode of exploration. Daubigny's sketchbook documents sites on rail journeys made between Paris, Rouen, and Le Havre in ca. 1847. Some of the sketches depicting the architecture and lively human bustle of the train stations, and the waterways, cities, and landscapes the artist passed through, served as the basis for engraved plates that chronicled the world awaiting the intrepid rail traveler.
Follow Daubigny on his voyages by paging through the sketchbook.
The sketchbook will be on view June 16 through October 22, 2023 in the exhibition Into the Woods: French Drawings and Photographs from the Karen B. Cohen Gift.