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Philippe Rousseau, A Valley

Key facts
Full title A Valley
Artist Philippe Rousseau
Artist dates 1816 - 1887
Date made about 1860
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 81 × 99.7 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented by Francis Howard to the Tate Gallery, 1936; transferred, 1956
Inventory number NG4849
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
A Valley
Philippe Rousseau

Philippe Rousseau is best known now as a still-life painter, but early in his career he painted a series of landscapes in such places as Normandy and Brittany. This landscape dates from later in his life. The view is along a sunlit valley under a bright sky. While the actual location has not been identified, the hillside at the left, which is divided into strips of small fields or kitchen gardens, is reminiscent of Pissarro’s views of the same period, painted around Pontoise to the north-west of Paris. A couple of strips are planted with rows of vegetables, perhaps cabbages, and one towards the left is sprinkled with the red of what must be poppies. The fresh cool tonality of the greens and the broad fluid brushwork set the view apart from the many landscapes painted by artists of the Barbizon School in the forest of Fontainebleau and elsewhere at the same period. Its freely painted technique can be compared to that of the early Impressionists.

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