Featuring over fifty paintings, Galerie Michael takes great pride in presenting Barbizon & Beyond to our patrons and friends. Here you can view the early plein-air experiments of Georges Michel, the humble yet heroic shepherds of Charles Jacque, the luminous waterways of Johan Barthold Jongkind, and the ethereal figures of Henri Martin, among others.
Strongly influenced by 17th century Dutch landscapes and outdoor painters like John Constable and Richard Bonington of the English Landscape Painting tradition, the Barbizon School was an important step in the development of French landscape art, moving away from Romanticism towards Realism. Barbizon artists sought to capture the actual light of the countryside and the actual colors they saw. Put another way, they painted with their eyes and not their heads. Their principal technique was plein- air painting. Unlike prior artists, who might make a few brief sketches outdoors but then retreat to their studios to begin painting, Barbizon members spent much more of their time painting directly from nature. This immersion in their surroundings led to a focus on the details of rural life, its seasons and above all, its changing light and colors.
The Barbizon School influenced painters in other parts of France, as well as countries all around Europe and the Americas. Many artists flocked to Paris from all over the world to study this kind of new art movement. This special collection of paintings offers works of historical significance, beauty, substance and value that have few rivals in today’s market. The scope of the exhibition is intentionally broadened to include works by known artists, as well as lesser-known painters of the period, which are worthy of serious consideration. These artists offer us a moment’s grace in a peaceful setting, and are truly paintings to live with and appreciate for a lifetime. We invite you to our gallery to witness the full exhibition, including the works not included in the catalogue. Together, the paintings demonstrate Barbizon and its influential place in the history of art.