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Women Going to the Woods

Alfred Sisley1866

Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation

Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation

The early Impressionist painters followed the habit of their predecessors, the Barbizon School, in frequently setting out the Forest of Fontainebleu for plein-air landscape sketching. In 1865, Sisley invited his friend Renoir to the village of Marlotte, on the southeast of the forest; this work was created while they were there. The three women in the center of the painting are about to set out to gather firewood in the forest. The woman on the right is probably returning home. A man working in a field is also visible on the right. These elements call to mind Millet's paintings of peasants. The calm tones of browns, gray-blues, and greens remind one of Corot, while Courbet's influence is evident in the brushwork. When Sisley submitted this painting and one other to the Salon (the official exhibition), the jury accepted his work for the first time.

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