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THE CENTURY MAGAZINE.

Vol. XLIV.

JULY, 1892.

No. 3

CHARLES-FRANÇOIS DAUBIGNY.

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tles against the stubborn resistance offered by the then reigning pseudo-classic school, whose art, with its dry conventions and pedagogic forms, had drifted so far away from nature. He advanced on his predecessors, however, by leaving behind their more romantic mannerisms, and carrying his art still farther into the domain of reality. Yet he never became commonplace or uninteresting. An artist in the true sense of the word, he imbued all that he painted with a distinct and personal charm.

We readily associate the names of Corot and Daubigny, and with reason. Notwithstanding the twenty years' seniority of the former artist, they were intimate friends, sharing many similar aspirations in art, while each still preserved his distinct individuality. Corot was more subjective, tingeing his works with his own peculiar poetic fancy. Daubigny, on the other hand, gave himself up more to the impression of the moment, endeavoring to express the local qualities of form and color in all their brilliancy and freshness. He did not reach perfection of style at the beginning of his career, but through

most devoted study, guided by the native MONG the landscape-painters of strength and originality of his views; nor did

France who by strong and beau- this high epoch of landscape-art come hastily tiful rendering of natural truth or accidentally, but was made possible by the have in our century made their united efforts of many men and minds working art classic, Charles-François together during the first half of our century.

Daubigny holds a high and dis- Therefore, in tracing the life of Daubigny, we tinguished place. When he came, Constable shall likewise be following the gradual develand Bonington of England, and Jules Dupré, opment through which art in France passed Huet, Rousseau, Diaz, and Corot in France, to its crowning results. He was born at Paris had already led the van and won their first bat- on February 15, 1817. As a child he played

Copyright, 1892, by THE CENTURY Co. All rights reserved.

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DRAWN BY HORACE BRADLEY.

ENTRANCE TO DAUBIGNY'S HOUSE AT AUVERS.

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ENGRAVED BY T. M. HEARD.

BOY'S HEAD.

packs on their backs, sticks in hand, and with stout boots, they started to make the journey on foot. We can imagine how the perspectives that opened must have intoxicated these ardent young souls. They passed Lyons, and entered the more tropical vegetation of the South; then between the Rhone and the Alps they marched on to enter Italy. They visited Florence, Rome, and Naples, drawing the monuments and visiting the museums as they passed, studying the marvels of that fatherland of art. Many were the material privations they suffered in order to prolong the stay, sacrifices willingly made to the love of their art ; but after some eleven months, Mignan, who had left his fiancée behind him, began to grow homesick, and back they started. It was probably well that they did, for they had only two louis left when they reached Troyes. Old friends came on from Paris to meet them, and the remainder of the

journey was a series of fêtes. (FROM DAUBIGNY'S SKETCH-BOOK.) 1

This Italian visit does not seem to have

much affected the art of Daubigny; his works with pencils and paints, and painting in his of this period are excessive in their devotion to case was more or less hereditary. Daubigny detail, suffering, indeed, from his over-conscienwas a weakly baby, literally passing the first tiousness when before nature. He admired at few months of his life in cotton batting; and this time, also, the works of Charles de Laberge, as soon as possible he was placed “en nour- an artist who treated nature from an almost mirice" in the country at Valmondois, where he croscopic point of view. Among the studies spent some years, gathering in the open fields that he brought back from Italy, when the accuand woods physical strength and a love of na- mulated treasures of the trip were spread out for ture at the same time. The early death of his the admiration of friends, was one of a thistle, mother and the remarriage of his father left most carefully worked out in all its details and him almost entirely to his own guidance, and remarkable for its truth. His friend Geffroyhe never received a very thorough school Dechaume, the sculptor, remarked on seeing education.

it: “What was the need of going to Rome to Thrown upon his own resources at fifteen, do that? You might have found it at Monthe made up by practical work what might be martre.” Among these friends were Meislacking in university culture, and immediately began the beloved occupation of his life. All sorts of odd jobs fell under his hand, from the painting of picture-clocks to the making of illustrations and decorations of various sorts, useful in a commercial way. At seventeen he was his own master, and was studying seriously with a view to higher art. One idea had always haunted him, to see Italy. It was the usual pilgrimage for young painters of that day. A friend, Mignan, shared this desire, and arranged to accompany him. For the accumulation of the necessary funds they made a hole in the wall of their garret, and here, sou by sou and franc by franc, gained in all sorts of work, they gradually amassed in about a year what they deemed to be sufficient. One day, at the suggestion of Daubigny, the wall was broken into, andout came some fourteen hundred francs in various kinds of coin. A few days after, with

1 The reproductions in this article from Daubigny's sketch-book are made by permission of Mrs. Daubigny.

DAUBIGNY'S STUDIO AT AUVERS.

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DRAWN BY M BRADLEY.

ENGRAVED BY J. W EVANS.

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sonier, Daumier the celebrated caricaturist, turn again came he wished to do something of Steinheil the designer, Trimolet, who after- more importance. He painted “St. Jerome ward married Daubigny's sister, and others. in the Desert,” and sent it to the Salon of They had arranged to live together and mu- 1840. The landscape of this composition is a tually to help one another to succeed, keeping souvenir of the mountains of Isère; amid the house in the Rue des Amandiers-Popincourt. rugged hills, under an evening sky, St. Jerome A simple life, earnest work, and joyous recre- is seen kneeling in prayer. There is a flavor ation was their program, and Daubigny was of Poussin and Salvator Rosa about it, shownot the least gay among them. He cheerfully ing that Daubigny still held on to so-called accepted any work Providence might choose classic traditions. It was at this time, his to send him, drawings on lithographic stone, picture having been favorably received, that in pen and ink, bill-heads, prospectuses, and he thought of trying for the Prix de Rome, worked, too, for some time in the atelier of and with that intention entered the École des restorations at the Louvre, under Granet. Beaux-Arts under Paul Delaroche. At the

All of the brotherhood gave their spare time opening of the concours there was much hope to study, and each year, in turn, one prepared of his getting the prize, and such probably a serious work for exhibition at the expense would have been the case, had he not in his of the rest. Daubigny had made his debut in heedlessness failed to fulfil all the necessary the Salon of 1838 with a “View of Notre formalities. He neglected to be present at a Dame and the Isle St. Louis," and when his certain hour, going off instead to breakfast

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