The Bodmer Oak, Fontainebleau Forest

Artist: Claude Monet (French, Paris 1840–1926 Giverny)

Date: 1865

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 37 7/8 x 50 7/8 in. (96.2 x 129.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Sam Salz and Bequest of Julia W. Emmons, by exchange, 1964

Accession Number: 64.210


The Forest of Fontainebleau, south of Paris, became an artistic hot spot in the 1830s. One popular motif was the Bodmer Oak, named after Swiss artist Karl Bodmer (1809–1893), who exhibited a painting of the tree at the Salon of 1850. Monet used bright yellows, greens, and oranges to depict sunlight filtering through the canopy of branches. The carpet of russet leaves signals that he painted this view just before he concluded a months-long visit to Fontainebleau in October 1865. It is probably the last of several landscapes related to his monumental Luncheon on the Grass (1865–66; Musée d’Orsay, Paris), which is set in a sunny woodland glade.