Critic Théophile Gautier extolled Daubigny’s landscapes as "pieces of nature cut out and set into golden frames." The artist first painted flowering orchards about 1857, reprising the motif almost every spring. His unpretentious subject matter, rendered with rapid, summary brushstrokes, soon earned the admiration of younger colleagues like Monet. By the time of this canvas in 1873, Daubigny, had, in turn, assimilated their high-keyed palette, evident in the vivid green foliage and bright blue sky. That same year, Monet painted two views of blossoming fruit trees, one of which is in the Metropolitan’s collection (26.186.1).
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Artist:Charles-François Daubigny (French, Paris 1817–1878 Paris)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:23 1/8 x 33 3/8 in. (58.7 x 84.8 cm)
Credit Line:Bequest of Collis P. Huntington, 1900
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): Daubigny 1873
William H. Fuller, New York (by 1892–98; his sale, American Art Association, New York, February 25, 1898, no. 29, for $6,000 to John B. Randolph for Huntington); Collis P. Huntington, New York (1898–d. 1900; his bequest to The Met with life interest to his widow, Arabella D. Huntington, later [from 1913] Mrs. Henry E. Huntington, 1900–d. 1924; life interest to their son, Archer Milton Huntington, 1924–terminated in 1925)
New York. Union League Club. "Early English Painters: A Loan Exhibition from the Collection of M. H. Fuller, Esq. . . . Together with Paintings by Modern French and Dutch Artists," February 11–13, 1892, no. 35.
New York. American Fine Arts Society. "Loan Exhibition," February 13–March 26, 1893, no. 111 [see Sterling and Salinger 1966].
New York. Union League Club. "Two Barbizon Painters: Constant Troyon and Charles François Daubigny," November 1895, no. 23 (lent by Mr. W. H. Fuller, New York).
Newark Museum. "19th-Century French and American Paintings from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 9–May 15, 1946, no. 12.
New York. American Federation of Arts. "A Landscape View of 19th Century France (circulating exhibition)," September 1, 1954–1957, no catalogue?
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "Corot and His Contemporaries," May 8–June 21, 1959, unnumbered cat.
Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "Paintings of the Barbizon School," January 6–29, 1962, no. 18.
Oshkosh, Wis. Paine Art Center & Arboretum. "Charles François Daubigny," May 1–31, 1964, no. 72.
New York. Gallery of Modern Art. "Charles François Daubigny," June 16–August 2, 1964, no. 72.
Memphis. Dixon Gallery and Gardens. "Charles François Daubigny (1817–1878)," March 19–April 23, 1978, no catalogue.
Edinburgh. National Gallery of Scotland. "Lighting up the Landscape: French Impressionism and its Origins," August 1–October 19, 1986, no. 82.
Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh. "Franse meesters uit het Metropolitan Museum of Art: Realisten en Impressionisten," March 15–May 31, 1987, no. 4.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Barbizon: French Landscapes of the Nineteenth Century," February 4–May 10, 1992, no catalogue (as "Apple Blossoms").
Fort Lauderdale. Museum of Art. "Corot to Cézanne: 19th Century French Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," December 22, 1992–April 11, 1993, no catalogue.
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.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 46.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.
Edinburgh. Scottish National Gallery. "Inspiring Impressionism: Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh," June 25–October 2, 2016, unnumbered cat. (fig. 100).
Amsterdam. Van Gogh Museum. "Daubigny, Monet, Van Gogh: Impressions of Landscape," October 21, 2016–January 29, 2017, unnumbered cat. (fig. 100).
"The Chapman Gallery." The Collector 2 (August 1, 1891), p. 202, as "The Time of Apple Blossoms" in the collection of Henry T. Chapman, Jr., possibly this painting; notes that a couple of figures are depicted under the trees, with their pink and white blossoms; states that "no American collections contain a Daubigny superior to this".
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 27.
Charles-François Daubigny. Exh. cat., Paine Art Center. Oshkosh, Wisc., 1964, unpaginated, no. 72, ill.
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. 99, ill.
Madeleine Fidell-Beaufort and Janine Bailly-Herzberg. Daubigny. Paris, 1975, p. 184, no. 131, ill., publishes two other pictures of the same subject, dated 1871 and about 1874.
Robert Hellebranth. Charles-François Daubigny, 1817–1878. Morges, Switzerland, 1976, p. 317, no. 972, ill., as "Pommiers en Fleur".
Michael Clarke. Lighting up the Landscape: French Impressionism and its Origins. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Scotland. Edinburgh, 1986, pp. 17, 69, no. 82.
Sjraar van Heutgen et al. inFranse meesters uit het Metropolitan Museum of Art: Realisten en Impressionisten. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1987, pp. 10, 34–35, no. 4, ill. (color, overall and detail).
Roger Hurlburt. "Free Spirits." Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale) (December 20, 1992), p. 4D.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 422, ill.
Kathryn Calley Galitz inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 70, 203, no. 46, ill. (color and black and white).
Kathryn Calley Galitz inMasterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 82, 237, no. 76, ill. (color and black and white).
Fronia E. Wissman inNineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Ed. Sarah Lees. Williamstown, Mass., 2012, vol. 1, pp. 202–4, fig. 88.1 (color), under no. 88, compares it to Camille Corot's "Apple Trees in a Field" (ca. 1865–70, Clark Art Institute, Williamstown).
Lynne Ambrosini inDaubigny, Monet, Van Gogh: Impressions of Landscape. Exh. cat., Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati. Edinburgh, 2016, p. 170, ill. back cover flap (color detail).
Nienke Bakker inDaubigny, Monet, Van Gogh: Impressions of Landscape. Exh. cat., Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati. Edinburgh, 2016, p. 110, fig. 100 (color), compares it to Monet's "Spring (Fruit Trees in Bloom)" (The Met, 26.186.1) of the same year, stating that Daubigny's picture is less daring in brushwork, composition, and use of light, despite shared interests.
Heinz Widauer inClaude Monet: A Floating World. Ed. Heinz Widauer and Dieter Buchhart. Exh. cat., Albertina Museum. Vienna, 2018, p. 98, fig. 7 (color), compares it to Monet's "Orchard in Bloom" (1878, National Gallery, Prague).
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