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Hamlet in the Auvergne

Théodore Rousseau French

Not on view

In 1830, the eighteen-year-old Rousseau set out on a sketching expedition in the rugged Auvergne region of central France that would change the course of landscape painting. From a high perch, the artist painted this panoramic view of an unidentified hamlet nestled at the base of a steep cliff among swelling hills. Upon his return to Paris, sketches like this one were celebrated by leading figures of the Romantic generation, establishing Rousseau’s reputation. The French countryside took its place as the equal of Italy’s, with the frankness of touch seen here becoming the vernacular idiom for representing it in paint.

Hamlet in the Auvergne, Théodore Rousseau (French, Paris 1812–1867 Barbizon), Oil on paper, mounted on canvas

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