Daubigny: inspiration for Monet, Cezanne, van Gogh

The other article which deadline passed without a reaction from the editor, was one about a wonderful temporary exhibition at the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. This exhibition, “In Daubigny’s footsteps” not only traces his journeys through France. It also traces his development as a painter and his influence upon impressionism.

Charles-Francois Daubigny belonged to the Barbizon School. He greatly influenced French painters like Monet, Cezanne, as well as Dutch painters including Vincent van Gogh. High time for the Amsterdam van Gogh Museum to host an exhibition with his work as well as works from painters he influenced.

Orchard by Daubigny

Orchard by Daubigny

Unlike van Gogh, Daubigny was highly successful. Like van Gogh, he developed a personal style and experimented in his works. But while experimenting, he never forgot what the art market liked and wanted.

Like other Barbizon painters, Daubigny liked to work in the great outdoors. He even bought a small boat and had it converted, This enabled him to travel along French rivers like the Oise and Seine – and paint. Later Monet immitated Daubigny and also bought a boat.

In this exhibition, there are not only paintings and drawings to be admired. It includes travel journals. It even has a kind of replica of Daubigny’s small boat. Visitors can sit in it and watch how Daubigny created his river-scapes.

Orchard by van Gogh

Orchard by van Gogh

Daubigny’s impact on other painters is illustrated by works which share themes. These hang close or even next to each other. This enables visitors to compare seascapes by Daubigny, Monet and Mesdag. Or admire a series of paintings by Daubigny and others with similar themes, like orchards. Don’t forget to look at van Gogh’s tributes: two impressions of Daubigny’s garden; one including Daubigny’s widow.

This exhibition contains wonderful paintings. My favourites were of course Daubigny’s and Monet’s seascapes. Daubigny’s are moodier. What this exhibition also excellently illustrates is the development during the 19th and early 20th century, of French landscape painting. It is a delight to visit it.

Seascape by Daubigny

Seascape by Daubigny

Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam: “Daubigny, Monet, van Gogh” can be visited till 29th of January 2017. The exhibition catalogue is available in English and Dutch for about 25 Euro. This exhibition was shown earlier at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati and the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh in 2016.

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