Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch, “The House of the Artist Millet,” 1900, oil on canvas, private collection

The Mesdag Collection in The Hague has recently hung a significant exhibition surrounding the special attraction the French village of Barbizon held for Dutch painters in the 19th century. Yes, please!

From October 27, 2017 through January 7, 2018, the Mesdag Collection in The Hague will present “The Dutch in Barbizon: Maris, Mauve, Weissenbruch,” an exhibition about 19th-century Dutch painters who were drawn to the French village of Barbizon and the nearby Forest of Fontainebleau. French artists went to that area — just a stone’s throw from Paris — to work in the open air, capturing their personal, often rough or sketchy impressions of the unspoiled nature around them.

This exhibition features Dutch painters who followed the example of their French peers, visiting the same spots in and around the Forest of Fontainebleau to depict magnificent trees, unusual rock formations, and village life. The artworks of these French and Dutch artists hang side by side in this exhibition, in the museum that holds one of the finest collections of Barbizon paintings outside France, once assembled by Hendrik Willem Mesdag himself.

“The Dutch in Barbizon” consists of 42 works, grouped into themes such as “Rocks” and “In the Village.” A number of remarkable loans will be on display, including two drawings by Martinus Kuytenbrouwer that for many years were in the possession of two Dutch monarchs: King William III and later Queen Juliana. The exhibition concludes with recent photographs, which show that Barbizon is still as magical as ever.

“The Dutch in Barbizon” complements “The Dutch in Paris, 1789-1914,” running concurrently in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. To learn more, visit here.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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