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Théodore Rousseau, Landscape

Key facts
Full title Landscape
Artist Théodore Rousseau
Artist dates 1812 - 1867
Date made around 1865
Medium and support Black crayon and oil on millboard
Dimensions 50.8 × 67.8 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented to the Tate Gallery by Mrs Julian Lousada, 1926; transferred, 1956
Inventory number NG5781
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Théodore Rousseau

This work, with its preliminary drawing left visible, is typical of Rousseau’s later style. In the distance a chain of hills is sketched in blue. A plain in the foreground is dappled in yellow, echoing the fragmented light of the sky. In the sky itself the thin application of blue paint leaves much of the millboard support exposed.The trunks and foliage of a line of trees to the left are sketched in brown paint and black crayon. A lone figure, sketched in brown, faces away from the viewer, contemplating the hills.

The pervading grey of the millboard combined with the ethereal quality of the trees and the scudding white clouds lends this atmospheric scene a silvery light, but in fact the time of day is difficult to determine. The pink tinges on some of the clouds might suggest a time around sunset or sunrise.

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