Charles-Francois Daubigny

(1817 - 1878)
Charles-Francois Daubigny Cottages at Barbizon: Evening 1817 - 1878


Daubigny's landscapes had a significant impact on the Impressionists, whom he helped and encouraged. He came from a family of artists and began his career as a painter of ornaments. He failed twice to win the Rome Prize for Historical Landscape, and turned to concentrate on painting directly from nature, finding inspiration working with other artists, including Corot, in and around the Forest of Fontainebleau. Daubigny travelled widely in France but eventually settled in Auvers on the River Oise north of Paris. He enjoyed painting riverscapes and devised a studio-boat to work in.

Glossary terms

  • A French expression meaning ‘in the open air’. It refers to the practice of painting a complete picture outside as apposed to a creating a preparatory sketch or study. The technique was developed during the mid 1800’s by Constable in Britain, in France by the Barbizon School painters such as Courbet and Corot and later by the Impressionist painters including Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Artists using the technique sought to capture the essence of natural light. In the second half of the nineteenth century the technique spread throughout much of Europe and into America.