When I went to the Getty Center last Sunday, there was a traveling exhibit of the mostly landscape paintings of Pierre Etienne Théodore Rousseau. I had never heard of him before. I even asked one of the docents whether that was the same as Henri ”Douanier” Rousseau. Then, when I saw the paintings, I realized that here was a very different artist.
Théodore Rousseau painted nature as she is seen, not as a manicured garden. Here were trees that were alive and dominated the landscape. And man does not figure as a dominant force in most of his work.
Étienne Pierre Théodore Rousseau (1812-1867) was considered to be a painter of the Barbizon School, which takes its name from the village of Barbizon near the Forest of Fontainebleau, where many of its adherents would gather. Their work was marked by “its tonal qualities, color, loose brushwork, and softness of form” according to Wikipedia.
After all these years, I am getting a little fatigued with many of the impressionist painters; so it was a relief to see someone who work made me stop in my tracks admiring an artist who was new to me.
He is new to me as well — and as you say, very different.