THE MORGAN PRESENTS FIRST MAJOR U.S. EXHIBITION OF DRAWINGS BY THÉODORE ROUSSEAU, MASTER OF THE BARBIZON SCHOOL
Théodore Rousseau (1812–1867) was the leading figure of a group of nineteenth-century French artists who chose the wooded landscape of the Forest of Fontainebleau as their subject and would forever be known to art history as the Barbizon School. Decades before Impressionism, Rousseau and his peers developed new ways to observe, draw, and paint the natural world in studies made directly from nature and composed landscape pictures intended for exhibition. Deeply Romantic in approach, the work of Rousseau ultimately added an important chapter to the history of landscape art, and elements of the Barbizon School style were then reconfigured and transformed by the next generations of great French artists: the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Beginning September 26, the Morgan Library & Museum will present a groundbreaking exhibition devoted to Rousseau’s drawings and oil sketches—the first ever at a major U.S. museum—that sheds new light on his techniques and unique perspectives on landscape imagery. The Untamed Landscape: Théodore Rousseau and the Path to Barbizon will run through January 18, 2015.