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View of the Park at Saint-Cloud [Vue du Parc de Saint-Cloud]
To paint out-of-doors and in complete solitude was the guiding principle of Constant Troyon, a French landscape and animal painter closely associated with the painters of the Barbizon School. These artists, who worked in the small village of Barbizon near the Forest of Fontainebleau, painted directly from nature, capturing its atmospheric effects. Unlike the Impressionists, they finished their canvases in the studio. They did not make the traditional journey to Italy; their inspiration came instead from Dutch Realism and English Romanticism.
Troyon’s early works show a poetic colorist of quiet hues aiming to achieve a perfect tonality. Vue du Parc de Saint-Cloud belongs to this first period, when he created fine landscapes depicting meadows and riversides on the outskirts of Paris. He executed a number of paintings and watercolors around Sèvres, his birthplace, and Saint-Cloud. In this canvas, Troyon did not attempt to exactly transcribe a concrete motif. He focused rather on interpreting the color and rendering the atmosphere of this particular place in connection with memories of his emotional childhood experiences there.
from Snite Museum of Art, Selected Works: Snite Museum of Art (Notre Dame, 2005)