Wikimedia Commons, with its wonderful, clunky mishmash of art images — superb high quality high resolution images from the best sources next to low resolution low quality and off color images from questionable sources — has some equally eccentric systems of categorization, which results in the delightful ability to browse through a category like “Paintings of forests“, and highly specific subcategories like “Paintings of forêt de Fontainebleau” (the forest of Fountainebleau).
The forest of Fontainebleau is an area of still relatively wild forest and rock formations about 35 miles (60 km) southeast of Paris. It attracted the first wave of painters known to paint en plein air in significant numbers.
Initially it was Corot, and then other painters who were similarly interested in painting directly from nature, and who would collectively come to be known as the Barbizon School, named for the nearby town that was their base. Later they were joined by the early French Impressionists, who were highly influenced by the Barbizon painters.
The images above were all selected from the single Wikimedia Commons page for paintings from the forest of Fountainebleau — on which you will find more examples, as well as links to higher resolution images, and even links to subcategories of that category.
(Images above: Abbot Handerson Thayer, Alphonse Asselbergs, Christian Zacho, François Auguste Ortmans, Claude Monet, George Charles Aid, Gustave Courbet, Gustave Doré, Peter Burnit, Théodore Rousseau, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot)
In the Forest of Fontainebleau
Eye Candy for today: Corot Fontainebleau landscape
The Bodmer Oak, Fontainebleau, Claude Monet