Théodore Rousseau (French, 1812–1867)
Oil on canvas
64 x 102 3/8 in. (162.6 x 260 cm)
Signed (lower left): TH.Rousseau.
Gift of P. A. B. Widener, 1911 (11.4)
The putative subject of The Forest in Winter at Sunset is Bas-Bréau, a section of Fontainebleau Forest. But Rousseau seems to have begun working on the painting, or at least on studies for it, while staying on the other side of Paris in the spring of 1846. By that time, his Salon submissions had been rejected for a decade, hence his nickname, Le Grand Refusé. The painting's vast size is consistent with the artist's ambition to trump this reputation, but The Forest in Winter remained unfinished and unexhibited at his death.