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with his friend Feuchères at Vincennes. Next He went generally by preference toward Valday, to his chagrin, he found himself thrown mondois, Auvers, or Isle-Adam, on the banks out of the competition, and there was no ap- of the Oise, some twenty miles or more north peal. Thus he failed to go to Rome, which of Paris. It was at the first village that he seeming misfortune may have proved a bless- spent the early years of his life, in charge of ing to the art world. He much regretted it at the good Mère Bazot, his old nurse, and he the time, as did Delaroche also, who said that always retained a deep affection for the vicinity. "all might yet be repaired," and that "after this He immortalized Mère Bazot's cottage in one he should come to the studio without paying." of his first etchings, "The Village Wedding," The prize for landscape was given but once in where it appears among some trees to the right, four years; he soon became weary of so long and again in one of his last Salon pictures, in a delay, and gave up the studio. 1874, painted when the good old woman had long since passed away, and the master himself was nearing the end of his journey.
One day he went out sketching with some friends, and the real world seemed suddenly to impress him most forcibly. All the false, artificial productions of the schools seemed to vanish before the living beauties of the opening spring. Thenceforward he resolved that
After his début in 1838, and the "St. Jerome" of 1840, we find him continuously represented at the Salons, excepting those of 184246. He often suffered from the restrictions of
Nature, and she alone, should be his guide. He wished to spend all his time with her, and setting up his easel under the open sky, exploring by-paths and glens, riversides, woods, and meadows, to paint all that charmed him. But, marrying about this time, family cares and necessities engrossed much of his attention, and he was obliged to redouble his energies in order to cope with them. A less strong character would have sunk under duties that only added force to a nature so well tempered as his. Rarely a volume passed from the principal publishers of Paris that did not contain illustrations from his hand. He worked steadily both day and evening, often burning the midnight oil, and when the week's work was done he would start off in the night with his friend GeffroyDechaume, so that all the next day might be spent amid the delights of the open country.
the Academic jury, as did his contemporaries Millet, Rousseau, Corot, and others; but he bore his reverses bravely, almost gaily, and, assuring his daily bread by constant practical work, went cheerfully on. About the year 1848 a little inheritance fell to him, and he was able to take a trip into the Dauphiné and Morvan, whence he brought back a number of interesting and delicate studies, six of which he exhibited in the Salon of 1848, and was awarded a second medal. Thus encouraged, from this period he begins to take an important position. At the Salon of 1850-51 he exhibited "The Washerwomen of the River Oullins," "The Willows," " Boat on the River Oise," and "The Vintage," all of which created a veritable sensation among artists and connoisseurs. Daubigny was now a declared master. The following year brought forth "The Har
ing of details rather sacrificed to the unity of impression, which latter quality Daubigny always considered, and properly too, of primary importance. The following year "The Lake of Gylieu," "The Valley of Optevoz," and the "Entry of the Village" satisfied the most exacting, and gained their author a first-class medal. The impression produced by these works is perhaps best given in the following description by Count Clément de Ris, a critic of the time:
Have you not had it happen to you, in your explorations as a tourist, to see opening before you, under your very feet, a break in the ground, a little valley, calm in repose, and full of elegant and tranquil forms of discreet, harmonious colors, of shadows and softened lights, bordered by hillsides with advancing and retiring crests, and where no step seems to have troubled the poetic silence? A lake, placed there like a mirror, reflects its image, and carries on its brink sheaves of rushes, coltsfoot, reeds, water-strawberries, white and yellow lilies, among which swarm a humming world of gnats and insects. At your approach some stork occupied in arranging its plumage flies off snapping its beak; a snipe runs away piping its little cry; then all falls again into
"The Valley of Optevoz," is felt even more. The eye rests on every part with pleasure, and floats undecided between the sapphire of the sky and the velvet of the vegetation. One seems to smell the clover and hay, to hear the hum of the insects, and catch the sparkling of the light over the wheat-fields.
Amid the mass of work exhibited by the official masters of the day at the Universal Exposition of 1855, the pictures of Daubigny were somewhat pushed out of place, but among them was "The Sluice of Optevoz," afterward at the Luxembourg, having been bought by the Government. The jury, too, does not seem to have been very generous, awarding him only a third-class medal. "The Springtime," and "The Valley of Optevoz," exhibited in the Salon of 1857, marked the highest degree of perfection he had yet attained, and gained him a first-class medal for the second time. Any one who has seen "The Springtime," formerly in the Luxembourg and now at the Louvre, must appreciate its merit. Under a sky where the light, vaporous clouds of spring relieve themselves on delicate atmospheric azure spreads out a fresh, green landscape. The ground rises gently
to the right, covered with growing wheat-fields, while to the left an orchard in full bloom relieves its pink blossoms against a woody grove, and, higher still, against the sky. Birds sing their songs of joy from the topmost branches, and everything expresses the season when nature is budding into the fullness of new life. Near the foreground, on a path leading through the fields, comes a peasant woman seated on a donkey, while farther back two lovers are seen almost hidden by the grain. Both in sentiment and execution this picture is all that one could desire, filled with a fresh poetic beauty, vigorously and frankly expressed. In it the real and the ideal unite under the sure and delicate hand of a master, and one feels that this is great and classic art, which can well stand by the side of any works the past has given us. "The Valley of Optevoz" was also a landscape of noble quali
ties, and was bought by the Emperor Napoleon III. At the Salon of 1859 were seen "The Graves of Villerville" and "The Banks of the Oise," both of which had a great success, the latter picture being especially desired by connoisseurs; but it was already possessed by a M. Nadar, who afterward sold it to the museum of Bordeaux. On July 15 of the same year Daubigny was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, and the state favored him with two important decorative orders for the palace of the Louvre; two panels," Deer" and "Herons," for the Department of State, and in the following year with "The Ancient Pavilion of Flora" and the "Grand Basin of the Tuileries Gardens" for the staircase of the same department.
The success of "The Banks of the Oise" caused him to reproduce the subject several times, and as a demand seemed to grow for
this desire he went to see his friend Baillet the boat-builder at Asnières, and explained his project. "Hold!" said Baillet, "I have just what you want, a boat intended to be used for a ferry." Daubigny, who was accompanied by his son Karl, looked over the boat, which was some twenty-eight feet long, six feet beam, flatbottomed, and drew only eighteen inches of water. Baillet agreed to complete it, so that three or six rowers could be used, and a sail at will. At the stern was to be placed a cabin in pine sufficiently large to work and sleep in, with lockers on each side to contain bedding, cooking-utensils, provisions, and artist's materials. Thus equipped, with a plentiful supply of provisions on board, and accompanied by his son Karl, other pupils, or a chance friend, Daubigny made extensive voyages on the Botinfor so was this curious little craft christened by an impudent rustic-along the Oise, Seine, Marne, and adjoining rivers. Here, freed from
his family and friends, and afterward published. Often did the rustics at the villages where they stopped take them for gipsies, fortune-tellers, or quack-doctors; but they were not long in gaining the good will of these country-people, who had never before seen a like craft or crew. Corot was the "Grand Admiral Honoraire," but took no part in the voyages. Yet the gay old "père" was often present at the startingout dinners and on the completion of a trip, when good things both in art and edibles were plentiful, and his joyous nature had full play. An intimate and familiar friend, he designed the decorations of Daubigny's studio when the latter built his country-house at Auvers, about the time that the Botin made her appearance. Oudinot, who was the architect, also assisted in the decoration, reproducing a lovely Italian scene, after Corot's "Maquette," along the largest side of the studio, while Daubigny and his son Karl laid in the studies at each end.
These prove how extremely decorative and poetic Corot's designs appear on a large scale. The "Villa des Vallées," as it was named, is still preserved carefully by the widows of Daubigny and his son Karl,1 two most amiable ladies, and is a worthy monument to the spirit of the builder. Out in the garden, drawn up under the apple-trees, and overrun with grass and vines, rests the Botin, now serving as a sort of summer-house, and sadly recalling in its loneliness the departed masters. For several years the writer has lived near by, and one summer occupied the larger studio, thus becoming a more careful student of the genius of Daubigny. Many and famous were the guests of this hospitable house in the old days; Millet and Rousseau were among the number. One likes to think of these men, simple in habit, but great in thought and deed, meeting around a common board and discussing the burning questions of the art-world of their day.
Here, too, removed from the interruptions and feverish life of Paris, in the heart of a picturesque country to which he was bound by
door interpretation. "The Sheepfold" and the "Moonrise" of the Salon of 1861 were the first examples of this new departure, and although they possessed much poetic feeling, the public, who had been used to the more vigorous interpretations of his brush, could not recognize their old favorite in the more hesitating technic consequent on a change of style. He soon regained his place in their hearts, however, by such works as "The Morning" and "The Banks of the Oise at Auvers" in the Salon of 1863, "The Château and Park of St. Cloud” in 1865, "The Banks of the Oise, near Bonneville," of 1866, "The Meadows of the Graves at Villerville" in 1870, the pictures called "Moonrise" of 1865 and 1868, and "The Pond in the Morvan" of 1869. Several of these pictures were reëxhibited at the Universal Exposition of 1867, gaining their author another first-class medal. At the Universal Exposition of Vienna, in 1873, Daubigny did much to sustain the honor of French art by such works as the "Moonrise" from the Salon of 1868, and "The Beach of Villerville at Sunset," in which
ENGRAVED BY O. NAYLOR.
A BARGE. (FROM DAUBIGNY'S SKETCH-BOOK.)
associations reaching back to his infancy, Daubigny felt able to attempt the production of several works that he had for a long time meditated. Having succeeded in painting effects that would, as it were, wait to be painted, noting down living truths in the daylight and the fresh open air, he wished to record his impressions of those most beautiful but more delicate effects which last for so short a time that their realization must be the result of careful thought and patient creative labor, rather than of direct out
1 Charles-Pierre Daubigny, called Karl to distinguish him from his father, was born in 1846. Always at his father's side, he soon developed a taste for painting, which in the strong art-atmosphere in which he grew up was not long in becoming skill. To the Salon of 1863 he sent two landscapes done at Auvers. He was then only seventeen, but this precocious success did not prevent his continuing to study assiduously. Not wish ing to follow exactly in the same line with his father, he felt that it would be best to attempt subjects where figures would have the chief interest, and, always having possessed a taste for the sea, he spent several seasons along the Brittany and Normandy coasts. The Winnowers of Kérity-Finistère" in the Salon of 1868 gained
both deep sentiment and great science unite. The first-named marks perhaps the highest point he ever reached in rendering the mysterious poetry of twilight, the hour when the moon takes the throne of the heavens, and tired man and beast go to their well-earned rest.
These works gained him a promotion to the grade of Officer of the Legion of Honor. Then came "The Fields in June," full of brilliant scarlet poppies, and "The House of Mère Bazot," his old nurse, in 1874.
him a medal. "The Plateau of Belle-Croix, Forest of Fontainebleau," gained him yet another, and is now owned by the museum of Bordeaux. He was then only twenty-two years old. He continued his work, constantly striving to improve, and every succeeding Salon found him in the line of progress. Fishing-life, and the rustic surroundings of Auvers, mostly occupied his brush, and he had attained an eminent position when a rapid consumption, the result of a boat accident, suddenly carried him off in 1886, at the age of forty. Several of his works were bought by the Government, and were placed in the national museums. The future would in all probability have brought him still greater successes.