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The Path of Nature: Collecting Off the Beaten Path


An Old Chapel in a Valley

Théodore Rousseau (French, Paris 1812–1867 Barbizon)

ca. 1835
Oil on wood
10 1/2 x 13 7/8 in. (26.7 x 35.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1903
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    Probably painted about 1835, when the young artist had already begun to establish his reputation as an innovative landscape painter, this study retains the tight brushwork and marked contrasts in tone of his earlier work.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (lower left): TH.Rousseau.

  • Provenance

    Baron Jules de Hauff, Brussels (until 1876; his sale, rue de la Loi, no. 65, Brussels, April 20–21, 1876, no. 85, as "Paysage," apparently bought in); Henry G. Marquand, New York (until d. 1902; his estate sale, Mendelssohn Hall, New York, January 23, 1903, no. 43, as "Landscape," sold to MMA)

  • Exhibition History

    Detroit Institute of Arts. "French Painting from David to Courbet," February 1–March 5, 1950, no. 86 (as "Landscape").

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Barbizon: French Landscapes of the Nineteenth Century," February 4–May 10, 1992, no catalogue.

  • References

    Alfred Sensier. Souvenirs sur Th. Rousseau. Paris, 1872, pp. 110, 112 [possibly this picture], describes two works depicting the village and chateau of Broglie which Rousseau painted one summer between 1835 and 1837, one in the morning [this picture, according to correspondence from Pierre Miquel of June 15, 1990 in archive file] and one in the afternoon (formerly collection M. Guizot, Val-Richer).

    Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. "XIX Century." French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2, New York, 1966, p. 80, ill., tentatively date it about 1835.

    Michel Schulman with Marie Bataillès. Théodore Rousseau, 1812–1867: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Paris, 1999, p. 124, no. 120, ill., calls it attributed to Rousseau and dates it 1833.

  • See also