Cows Grazing by a River, Charles François Daubigny
Oil on card, roughly 3 x 7 inches (7 x 17 cm); in the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum.
What a wonderful little painting this is — a sky full of movement and a richly textural landscape, both defined and enlivened by thick, rough brush marks.
It reminds me of Constable’s wonderful oil sketches.
Daubigny was one of the kay progenitors of French Impressionism, and in his direct simplicity — without the flurry of short brushstrokes that came to exemplify the Impressionist stye at its height — I think he also presaged Post-Impressionist painting in America, Scandinavia and Russia, and much of what we see in the best contemporary plein air styles.