In the Forest of Fontainebleau: Painters and Photographers from Corot to Monet
March 2 – June 8, 2008
East Building, Mezzanine and Upper Level, Northeast, and Upper Level, North Bridge

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: 102 paintings, photographs, prints, and drawings, created from the 1820s through the 1870s and inspired by the landscape of the Forest of Fontainbleau near Paris, France, were shown in this exhibition. Works from the collection of the National Gallery of Art and loans from public and private collections in the United States and Europe were included. Studies and paintings by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Théodore Rousseau, Jean-François Millet, Claude Monet and photographers Gustave LeGray and Eugène Cuvelier were among the works on view. Included also were guidebooks, maps, and souvenirs, 19th-century photographic equipment, and open-air painting gear. The exhibition was organized in six sections: Discovery of the Forest, Trees and Rocks, Nature and Observation, Fontainebleau on a Grand Scale, Village Life, and Sites of Renown.

An Acoustiguide tour of the exhibition was available, narrated by National Gallery of Art director Earl A. Powell III with commentary by exhibition curators Kimberly Jones and Sarah Kennel and by Christopher Otter, Ohio State University.

An opening-day lecture was given by Kimberly Jones and Sarah Kennel. A public symposium, En Plein Air: Representing Landscape in Nineteenth-Century France and Britain, was presented May 2 and 3 in the East Building Auditorium. Sunday concerts in honor of the exhibition were held during March and April. "Weekend in the Forest of Fontainebleau," a family weekend offering musical performances, films, and an art activity for children and adults was held April 19 and 20.

Garden Café: Fontainebleau served a special menu inspired by French country cuisine designed by Washington-area chefs.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in association with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Kimberly Jones, associate curator of French paintings, National Gallery of Art, and Helga Aurisch, associate curator of European Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, were curators, in collaboration with Sarah Kennel, assistant curator of photographs, National Gallery of Art.

Sponsor: The exhibition in Washington was made possible by The Florence Gould Foundation. It was supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The family weekend was made possible in part by the Prince Charitable Trusts.

Attendance: 116,439

Catalog: In the Forest of Fontainebleau: Painters and Photographers from Corot to Monet by Kimberly Jones et al. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art in association with Yale University Press, 2008.

Other Venues: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, July 13–October 19, 2008

Image: Narcisse Diaz de la Peña, The Edge of the Forest at Les Monts-Girard, Fontainebleau, 1868, oil on canvas, Chester Dale Fund, 2000.37.1

Audio and Video

The Magic of Fontainebleau
Audio, Released: March 18, 2008, (7:33 minutes)
Press Event: In the Forest of Fontainebleau: Painters and Photographers from Corot to Monet
Audio, Released: February 26, 2008, (27:46 minutes)