American Frames, Barbizon Style, 1830-1870


Barbizon frames are named after a group of landscape artists working in the village of Barbizon, a favorite residence of painters who were a part of the French Realist movement (Thèodore Rousseau, who painted landscapes advocating a direct study of nature, was the principal figure of the group). Their works was influenced by 17th century Dutch masters and were forerunners of the impressionists.

Corot and Millet are often associated with the Barbizon group, but in fact Corot’s poetic approach and Millet’s humanitarian outlook placed them outside of the development of the school. America adopted their style of frame based on the Louis XIII but with more abundant foliage, much more sculptural, and made out of gesso composition. American impressionist painters made use of this, and although certain features differed from the French Barbizon, the essence is the same.

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