Formal Analysis on the Great Oaks of Old Bas-Breau Essay

638 Words Apr 21st, 2014 3 Pages
Milan Shah
February 17th 2014
Formal Analysis on The Great Oaks of Old Bas-Breau by Théodore Rousseau In 1824 John Constable exhibited some works of rural landscape paintings that inspired many young artists to forgo the formalities of art and draw directly from the source of nature rather than a dramatic event in history. The Barbizon School came about in existence due to artists’ rejecting the Royal Academy’s standards for art and tradition in an attempt to portray a truer reality of life with nature. Many of the artists came to the forests of Fontainebleau with loose brushstrokes, tonal qualities and softness of the subjects; they all had the same motif of creating works reflecting rural scenery. Rousseau was
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The dark outlining of the branches really emphasizes how twisted and old the trees are.
In 1832-1833, artist Camille Corot painted a set of similar giant oaks from the same forest however this landscape lacks the detail and finesse Rousseau has in his version. Rousseau was followed to the forest in Barbizon by his disciple Narcisse Diaz de la Peña who was also known for his landscapes in the salons of Paris. Diaz also painted many famous arts based on the landscapes of the forest. However both have great detail in their works; both differed with their use of color. Rousseau used more dull colors where as Diaz would use light and dark and would manipulate the shadows to make the light areas stand out more.
In the end Rousseau will be greatly know for his landscapes works in the forest of Fontainebleau and he is noted for his pilgrimage to the forest and his lengthy stay regardless of his sickness and illness. This piece of art by him shows his skill and eye for detail in the forest and using lighting with minute intricacies such as the shadow from the walking stick to let the audience know it is a man and not a large bush. Although the trees area dull green that doesn’t mean the trees itself are dull. They are full of life reaching high into the sky and their limbs growing wild and twisted.

Amory, Dita. "The Barbizon School: French Painters of Nature". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New

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