The Old Forest
On View: European Art Galleries, 5th floor
In 1849 Charles-Émile Jacque settled in Barbizon, a village near what had become the center of landscape painting in France: the vast Forest of Fontainebleau. By that year, eight trains a day were traveling direct from Paris to Barbizon, bringing thousands of “nature tourists” from the city.
Here, Jacque portrays a blue-smocked peasant standing near one of Fontainebleau’s famous old trees, an image of labor made to seem gentle and timeless. The forest actually belonged to the French crown, which limited how villagers could use it. Sheep were only permitted to graze at the edge of the forest, for example.
Oil on canvas
32 1/2 x 26 1/4 in. (82.6 x 66.7 cm)
Frame: 43 1/2 x 37 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (110.5 x 95.3 x 11.4 cm) (show scale)
Signed lower left: "ch. Jacque."
Bequest of Mrs. William A. Putnam
Charles-Émile Jacque (French, 1813-1894). The Old Forest, 1860-1870. Oil on canvas, 32 1/2 x 26 1/4 in. (82.6 x 66.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Mrs. William A. Putnam, 41.778 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 41.778_SL1.jpg)
overall, 41.778_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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