Sunset near Arbonne

Artist: Théodore Rousseau (French, Paris 1812–1867 Barbizon)

Date: ca. 1860–65

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: 25 1/4 x 39 in. (64.1 x 99.1 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Collis P. Huntington, 1900

Accession Number: 25.110.4


Approximately three miles separate the village of Barbizon, where Rousseau settled in 1836, and this site at the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau. Romantic artists had long been attracted by Arbonne’s rocky outcroppings, boulders, and strange, twisted trees. This painting, with its heightened color, strong contrasts of hue, and varied textures, is characteristic of forest sunsets painted during the final decade of Rousseau’s career. Throughout the composition the wood panel shows through the paint layer, its warm brown surface serving as a midtone.