Vaches et Leurs Gardiennes au Paturage pres d'un Gros Arbre
After the carefully delineated pastures populated with fauns and nymphs typical of Baroque and Academic painting, critics were taken aback by the loose brushwork and lack of narrative typical of the Barbizon School newly emerging in France in the early 19th century. Considered the father of the French Barbizon School of landscape painting, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was born in Paris to the owners of a prosperous millinery shop. Though bourgeois, his family supported his artistic ambitions and paid for him to visit Italy to study the masters. In an age when paintings were typically based on either history or religion, Corot focused instead on landscapes which he imbued with emotional expressiveness, using loose brushwork and other painterly techniques. This style and subject inspired others and became the Barbizon School, named after the village on the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau where they painted the unstructured nature around them. He also painted en plein air, rather than in a studio, and completed works in a single sitting. This and other elements of his style influenced the Impressionists later in the century; Claude Monet declared, ''There is only one master here Corot. We are nothing compared to him, nothing.''