In 1844, Rousseau visited the Landes region of southwestern France, which probably served as inspiration for the countryside depicted here. The scenery recalls the open plains and broad skies he had long admired in seventeenth-century Dutch landscape painting. The boatman and the path leading back to the farm among the trees indicate that this is a rustic place, if not quite wild.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): Th.Rousseau.
private collection, Geneva (until 1922); [Knoedler, New York, 1922–23]; Richard De Wolfe Brixey, New York (until 1943)
New York. American Federation of the Arts. "A Landscape View of 19th Century France (circulating exhibition)," September 1, 1954–1957, no catalogue?
Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "Paintings of the Barbizon School," January 6–29, 1962, no. 43 (as "Landscape").
Haus der Kunst München. "Corot, Courbet und die Maler von Barbizon: 'Les amis de la nature'," February 4–April 21, 1996, no. B 134.
Albany. New York State Museum. "French Painters of Nature; The Barbizon School: Landscapes from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 22–August 22, 2004, no catalogue.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, p. 81, ill., tentatively date it between 1848 and 1850.
Claudia Denk inCorot, Courbet und die Maler von Barbizon: "Les amis de la nature". Ed. Christoph Heilmann, Michael Clarke, and John Sillevis. Exh. cat., Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen and Haus der Kunst München. Munich, 1996, pp. 318–19, no. B 134, ill.. (color), dates it about 1850.
Michel Schulman with Marie Bataillès. Théodore Rousseau, 1812–1867: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Paris, 1999, p. 243, no. 424, ill., dates it about 1850.
Asher Ethan Miller. "The Path of Nature: French Paintings from the Wheelock Whitney Collection, 1785–1850." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 70 (Winter 2013), pp. 13, 37, fig. 10 (color), dates it about 1845–50.