Unruly Nature: The Landscapes of Théodore Rousseau @ the Getty Center

June 21–September 11, 2016

“A work of art is a corner of creation seen through a temperament,” the 19th-century French novelist Émile Zola once famously wrote, and nothing underscores this keen observation better than the work of Théodore Rousseau (1812-1867) currently on view at the Getty Center.  Organized by Scott Allan and Édouard Kopp, the show surveys the entire career of the well-known French artist, a leading member of the so-called Barbizon School, named after a small village in the Fountainebleau Forest southeast of Paris.  Rousseau’s rarely seen drawings—in ink, pencil, charcoal, and chalk—are nothing short of spectacular, magnificently diverse in their depiction of nature’s complexity and illuminating Rousseau’s intimate familiarity with the features of the French countryside. Winter Landscape from ca. 1855-65 (below) captures windswept trees and arid brushwork in short, sure-fire strokes that reveal enormous emotional intensity. To study Rousseau’s drawings in the context his masterful paintings is an extraordinary opportunity. Don’t miss it!