Edgar Degas - 1867-1868 The Pond in the Forest

1867-1868 The Pond in the Forest
The Pond in the Forest
1867-1868 33x41cm oil/canvas
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, España

« previous picture | 1860s Degas Paintings | next picture »

From Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza:
This darkly enigmatic landscape belongs to none of those groups and, hence, forms part of what might be called the «prehistory» of Degas as a landscapist. Unlike all three later groups, which were on paper, this is a «traditional» oil-on-canvas, which makes, thus a contribution to the distinguished French tradition of landscape painting that had been reinvigorated in French art after the publication in 1799 of Pierre-Henri Valenciennes' treatise on the subject.
This view, however, owes nothing to that tradition. Rather, it was to artists of the Barbizon School and to the somewhat later forested landscapes of Gustave Courbet that Degas turned for inspiration in making this landscape of a secluded forest pool. Yet, the resolute darkness of the picture and its comparatively rough surface have greater affinities with the landscapes painted by Gustave Courbet along the banks of the Loue River in far eastern France in the 1850s and 1860s. Degas had seen such works both at the Salon exhibitions and in the private galleries of Paris.