Bornage de Barbizon

Eugène Cuvelier French

Not on view

A well-travelled path invites viewers to follow the deep double ruts left by countless wagons that traversed the boundary between the town of Barbizon (on the left) and the forest of Fontainebleau (on the right). Beginning in the 1860s, Cuvelier joined other artists in the pursuit of a creative existence along this very border, living with friends and family in town while venturing out by day to interpret the famous woodlands with his camera. In this deceptively bucolic scene, Cuvelier dramatizes the primordial power of the forest, which threatens to burst forth from the path’s makeshift retaining walls while the shadows of its mighty oaks menace the flimsy fence around Barbizon; in response, the younger trees in the town appear to retreat, their slender trunks swaying backward as if in the face of a forceful wind.

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