This painting by Théodore Rousseau (French) is a landscape with a small stream of water in the center and a figure of a woman with a wooden yoke carrying two buckets of water. To the left, a cottage is seen among the trees.

Rousseau was born in Paris. Around the age of 14, he took up painting after being inspired by a journey to the beautiful and mountainous Jura region of France. His parents then sent him to study with the landscape artist Alexandre Pau de Saint-Martin, a cousin of Rousseau’s mother. After that, Rousseau began training under the artists Joseph Rémond and Guillaume Lethière, but he found their styles too tradition-bound. He left them and he started painting outdoors within the city rather than in the studio.

In 1830, Rousseau, then 18 years old, began to travel farther beyond the city to work from nature. He gravitated to the village of Barbizon, where he focused his eye on the Forest of Fontainebleau. By 1844 he had moved to Barbizon, and become a central figure in the Barbizon School. He was a committed naturalist, often working on a single piece for more than a year. Along with Corot and Daubigny, Rousseau is said to have been an influence on the emerging Impressionists.

Like many of his fellow Romantics, Rousseau was excluded from the Paris Salon for a number of years in the late 1830s and 1840s because the Salon still favored Neoclassicism. After the Revolution of 1848, however, Rousseau was accepted; in 1849, he exhibited three paintings and won a first-place medal.

Photography by Kevin Miyazaki.


  • Title: Pasture in Picardy
  • Creator: Théodore Rousseau
  • Creator Lifespan: 1812/1867
  • Location: The Charles Allis Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
  • Physical Dimensions: 6.5" x 9.5"
  • Provenance: Charles Allis Art Collection
  • Medium: Oil on wood panel

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