This picture was shown in an exhibition of Rousseau's painted studies, held in Paris in 1867. In the accompanying catalogue, it was identified as A Morning in Early Summer in the Forest of Fontainebleau and dated 1861. Rousseau's technique, which builds up a lively, light-filled surface with delicate touches of translucent glazes, is characteristic of his mature style.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): TH.Rousseau.
Alfred Sensier, Paris (until 1872; sold May 17, 1872 for Fr 9,000 to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1872; stock no. 1526, as "Sentier montant dans les rochers"; photo no. 4554; sold on December 21, 1872, as "Gorges d'Apremont," for Fr 12,000 to Febvre]; [Fèbvre, Paris, in 1872; possibly with Durand-Ruel retaining a financial interest]; Laurent-Richard (until 1878; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 23–25, 1878, no. 63, as "Sentier montant dans les rochers," for Fr 12,100); William Schaus, New York (until d. 1892; his estate sale, American Art Association, New York, February 28, 1896, no. 8, as "Landscape," for $9,200 to Knoedler for Altman); Benjamin Altman, New York (1896–d. 1913)
Paris. Cercle des arts. "Les études peintes par M. Théodore Rousseau," June 1867, no. 95 (as "Matinée de commencement d'été, dans la forêt de Fontainebleau").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Taste of the Seventies," April 2–September 10, 1946, no. 151.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Van Gogh as Critic and Self-Critic," October 30, 1973–January 6, 1974, no. 25.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Barbizon: French Landscapes of the Nineteenth Century," February 4–May 10, 1992, no catalogue.
THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT, BY TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION BY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.
Ph[ilippe]. Burty. Notice des études peintes par M. Théodore Rousseau exposées au Cercle des arts. Exh. cat.Paris, 1867, pp. 41–42, no. 95 [reprinted in Burty, "Maîtres et petits maîtres," Paris, 1877, p. 90], calls it "Matinée de commencement d'été, dans la forêt de Fontainebleau" and dates it 1861.
Armand Silvestre. Galerie Durand-Ruel, recueil d'estampes, gravées à l'eau-forte. Paris, 1873, pl. CIV (engraving by Brunet-Debaines), as "Sentier montant dans les roches".
"William Schaus Collection." New York Times (February ?, 1896), p. 14.
"Famous Paintings Sold at Auction." New York Herald Tribune (February 29, 1896), p. ?, notes that it sold for $9,300 to Knoedler at the Schaus sale on February 28, 1896.
B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "Modern Paintings in the Altman Bequest." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 9 (December 1914), pp. 253–54, 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. 84, ill.
Michel Schulman with Marie Bataillès. Théodore Rousseau, 1812–1867: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint. Paris, 1999, p. 320, no. 628, ill., calls it "Sentier dans les roches d'Apremont près le Henri IV, forêt de Fontainebleau" and dates it 1861.
There is an engraving of this picture by Brunet-Debaines (see Silvestre 1873).