Charles-François Daubigny

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portrait-photo of Daubigny by Nadar, undated
Daubigny, 1851: 'Swans in a Marsh', etching on laid paper; between fifth and sixth states; location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Drawings and Prints, New York City
Daubigny, 1852: 'The Hamlet of Optevoz, in the morning', oil-painting on canvas; location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
Daubigny, 1859: 'Graves à Villerville', oil-painting on canvas; location: Musée des Beaux-arts, Marseille, France
Daubigny, 1861: 'Le Départ (Le Retour)', from 'Le Voyage en bateau', etching on heavy wove paper; third and final state; location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Drawings and Prints, New York City
Daubigny, 1862: 'The Boat Studio, from series 'Voyage en Bateau', 1862', etching; first state of two; location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Drawings and Prints, New York City - quote by Albert Wolff - journalist, c. 1880: about the studio-boat of Daubigny: 'The boat used by Daubigny was arranged for long voyages; the cooking was done on board; there was a good wine cellar; you drank deep and you worked hard. The sketches accumulated, and when winter was come, Daubigny returned to Paris..'
Daubigny, 1864: 'Les bord de l'Oise', oil-painting on canvas
Daubigny, 1866: 'Sunset on the River Oise' (painted from his boat), oil-painting on panel; location: Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, U.S.
Daubigny, 1873: 'Landscape near Villerville / Paysage près de Villerville', oil-painting on canvas; current location: Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary

Charles-François Daubigny (15 February 1817 – 19 February 1878) was a leading landscape painter of the French Barbizon school, and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism

Quotes of Charles Daubigny[edit]

sorted chronologically, by date of the quote

Quotes, 1840 - 1860[edit]

  • My travelling companion [= Corot] has just abandoned me. He's a perfect Father Joy, this Father Corot. He is altogether a wonderful man, who mixes jokes in with his very good advice
    • In his letter of 1852; as quoted in Corot, Gary Tinterow, Michael Pantazzi, Vincent Pomarède - Galeries nationales du Grand Palais (France), National Gallery of Canada, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), 1996, p.271 – note 62
    • Corot's relationship with Daubigny was by far his most important friendship with another artist, during the 1860-70's
  • Speak to me no more of the old masters. Not one of them can stand up to this sturdy fellow [=Courbet ].
    • Quote c. 1860, in Corot', Gary Tinterow, Michael Pantazzi, Vincent Pomarède - Galeries nationales du Grand Palais (France), National Gallery of Canada, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), 1996, p. 272 – quote 65
  • I have bought at Auverse thirty perches of land, all covered with beans, on which I shall plant some legs of mutton when you come to see me. They are building me a studio there, some eight by six meters, with several rooms around it, which will serve me, I hope, next Spring [of 1861]. Father Corot has found Auvers very fine, and has engaged me to fix myself there for a part of the year, wishing to make rustic landscapes with figures. I shall be truly well of there, in the midst of a good farming country, where the ploughs do not yet go by steam.
    • In a letter to his friend Frédéric Henriet, [1], 1860; as quoted in 'Charles-francois Daubigny', by Robert J. Wichenden, in The Century Illustrated Montly Magazine, Vol. XLIV, July 1892, p. 335
    • Daubigny bought property in Auvers-sur-Oise in 1860; four years later Corot would decorate there his Villa des Vallées, with beautiful murals.

Quotes, 1861 - 1878[edit]

  • [I] preferred paintings full of daring to the nullities welcomed into every Salon.
    • Quote c. 1865, in Corot', Gary Tinterow, Michael Pantazzi, Vincent Pomarède - Galeries nationales du Grand Palais (France), National Gallery of Canada, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), 1996, p. 272 – quote 65
    • Daubigny's work was frequently refused by the jury of the Salon; after c. 1865 he participated in the jury himself, often together with Corot.
  • I was not able to work in the several excursions and ascensions made in the neighborhood, where it was very beautiful. One is so surprised by these grand aspects that it would be necessary to remain a long time before finding the interpretation capable of rendering them. I am going to finish the season at Auvers. There is nothing like one's natural every-day surroundings where one really takes pleasure. The pictures we do then feel the effect of their home-life, and the sweet sensations we experience in it.
    • In a letter to his friend Frédéric Henriet, 1872; as quoted in 'Charles-francois Daubigny', by Robert J. Wichenden, in The Century Illustrated Montly Magazine, Vol. XLIV, July 1892, p. 337
  • Adieu, adieu, I am going to see up there [after death] whether friend Corot has found me any new subjects for landscape painting.
    • as Albert Wolff, 1880's, in Notes upon certain masters of the XIX century, - printed not published MDCCCLXXXVI (1886), The Art Age Press, 400 N.Y. (written after the exhibition 'Cent Chefs-d'Oeuvres: the Choice of the French Private Galleries', Petit, Paris / Baschet, New York, 1883, p. 74
    • Daubigny's final thought for art in 1878 was connected with Corot.

Quotes about Charles-François Daubigny[edit]

sorted chronologically, by date of the quote
  • Mr. Daubigny is again to be found among the new landscapist group. I do not know anyone who was a more intimate feeling for nature, and who can better make it felt [in his former paintings]. But why does he only produce [now] rough sketches like 'La Moisson' and the 'Vue Pris sur les Bords de la Seine'. This latter is particularly beautiful. Is Mr. Daubigny afraid if ruining his work by finishing it? But that would be an avowal of weakness. I have a better opinion of his talent and I am convinced that a man who has begun so well could not finish badly
    • an art-critic after The Salon of 1852, [2]; as quoted in Corot, Gary Tinterow, Michael Pantazzi, Vincent Pomarède - Galeries nationales du Grand Palais (France), National Gallery of Canada, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), 1996, p. 45
  • [at Daubigny's place where] ..animated conversations on the direct study of nature or the comparative merits of Haarlem paint driers and thick oil paints were often interrupted bu bursts of merriment greeting a witticism of one of the guests, who included non other than Corot, Daumier, Geoffroy-Dechaume, etc...
    • Felix Braquemond, remembering his Paris evenings around 1854; as quoted in Corot, Gary Tinterow, Michael Pantazzi, Vincent Pomarède - Galeries nationales du Grand Palais (France), National Gallery of Canada, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), 1996, p. 150 – note 43
  • It is a pity that M. Daubigny, the landscape painter, with a sentiment so true, just and natural, contents himself with a first impression and neglects at this point the details. His pictures are no more than sketches, and sketches little advanced; it is to a system that one should attribute this careless manner which we believe dangerous for the future of the painter if he does not quickly abandon it. Each object delineates itself by an apparent or real contour, but the landscapes of M. Daubigny offer little except spots of color placed in juxtaposition. It needs, however, but a few days' labor to make excellent pictures of these insufficient preparations.
    • Théophile Gautier, c. 1861; as quoted in Constant Troyon and Charles Daubigny at the Union League Club – article, 'Charles Francois Daubigny', [3], W.H. Fuller; in catalogue of November Exhibition 1895; publisher: Gallison & Hobron, New York 1895, p. 21
    • the Paris' art-critic Gautier, accustomed to the carefully finished style of landscape painting those days at the Salons, [4], complained of Daubigny's rough method of painting
  • The boat used by Daubigny [5] was arranged for long voyages; the cooking was done on board; there was a good wine cellar; you drank deep and you worked hard. The sketches accumulated, and when winter was come, Daubigny returned to Paris provisioned with the booty of art and nature, the landscapes which, toward the close of his life, collectors and dealers battled for.
    • Albert Wolff, as quoted in Constant Troyon and Charles Daubigny at the Union League Club – article, 'Charles Francois Daubigny', W.H. Fuller; in catalogue of November Exhibition 1895; publisher: Gallison & Hobron, New York 1895, p. 19
  • It was among the apple-blossoms, in the pure air of the country, that he passed his earlier years and imbibed that love of the fields which became the passion of his life.
    • his biographer, Mr. Henriet, in C. Daubigny et son oeuvre gravé, 1875; as quoted in Constant Troyon and Charles Daubigny at the Union League Club - 'article: Charles Francois Daubigny', W.H. Fuller; in catalogue of November Exhibition 1895; publisher: Gallison & Hobron, New York 1895, p. 15
  • First and foremost, the masterly etching, 'The Bush', by Daubigny/Ruisdael. [= Daubigny's etching 'The bush', he made after Jacob van Ruisdael ].. ..I plan to do two drawings, either in sepia or something else, one of them after this etching [by Daubigny] — the other [etching, made] after T. Rousseau's 'The oven in Les Landes'. This latter sepia is already done — it's true — but if you compare it with Daubigny's etching, you'll understand that it becomes weak, even though the sepia drawing considered on its own may very well have a certain tone and sentiment. I have to go back to it and work on it again.. ..I couldn't tell you how happy I feel to have taken up drawing again. It had already been on my mind for a long time, but I always saw the thing as impossible and beyond my reach.
    • Vincent van Gogh in a letter to Theo, from Cuesmes, 24 September 1880 - original manuscript of letter no. 158 - at Van Gogh Museum, location Amsterdam - inv. no. b156 V/1962 (for text and original of the letter [[6]]
    • Van Gogh's copies after the work of Rousseau have been lost
  • The dwellers on the banks of the Oise and the Seine knew him [Daubigny] well. The ambulant landscape painter was more especially designated by the title of the 'Captain', a rank which vastly flattered him, for by dint of living on the water he had acquired a sailor's roughness and a sailor's pride in good navigation. The boat used by Daubigny was arranged for long voyages; the cooking was done on board; there was a good wine cellar; you drank deep and you worked hard. The sketches accumulated; and when winter was come, Daubigny returned to Paris provisioned with the booty of art and nature, the landscapes which, towards the close of his life, collectors and dealers battled for. How many times I have seen him thus, in his latter days, when his hair had grown white,..
    • Albert Wolff, 1880's, in Notes upon certain masters of the XIX century, - printed not published MDCCCLXXXVI (1886), The Art Age Press, 400 N.Y. (written after the exhibition 'Cent Chefs-d'Oeuvres: the Choice of the French Private Galleries', Petit, Paris / Baschet, New York, 1883, p. 70
    • Daubigny was painting the rivers Oise and Seine from his own boat [7], an old ferry-boat he bought in 1857, to come closer to the water he loved to represent
  • When the landscape had struck him especially by its general planes, he flung it on the canvas in those marvelous sketches which the artist refused to carry on further because he had nothing to add to this massy statement; at other times he insinuates himself into the details as exhaustively as possible and refines on his work to the utmost limits of execution. In this way the career of Daubigny is based on the simple and truthful art-theory that the handling of a picture ought to reflect the mood felt.
    • Albert Wolff, 1880's, in Notes upon certain masters of the XIX century, - printed not published MDCCCLXXXVI (1886), The Art Age Press, 400 N.Y. (written after the exhibition 'Cent Chefs-d'Oeuvres: the Choice of the French Private Galleries', Petit, Paris / Baschet, New York, 1883, p. 71
  • Those were the times when Les Vallées [ Auverse ] were full of life. Monsieur Daubigny would go off on the plain in the early morning, work an hour or two, and then start for he river. Sometimes he would come to draw my donkey or have some rabbits let loose in the kitchen here to sketch from. I always attended to his garden in which he was very much interested.
    • Ferdinand Gulpin, the old gardener of Daubigny in Auvers-sur-Oise, interviewed in 1892 by Robert J. Wichenden, and quoted in his article 'Charles-francois Daubigny' in 'The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine', Vol. XLIV, July 1892, p. 333

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