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Towards Impressionism: Landscape Painting from Corot to Monet

Located about 40 miles southeast of Paris, the vast Forest of Fontainebleau became a hub of experimentation in landscape art during the first half of the 19th century, with an emphasis on the plein air practices that would later become one of the hallmarks of Impressionism. The village of Barbizon, at the edge of the forest, lent its name to a school of painting that favored a down-to-earth style and subject matter over the idealized imagery and historical scenes embraced by the Academy. Towards Impressionism: Landscape Painting from Corot to Monet centers on some 40 works from the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims, known for its outstanding collection of works by Théodore Rousseau, Jean-François Millet and other members of the Barbizon School. The show also includes works executed a little later in and around Honfleur, another center of plein air activity, this time on the Normandy coast.