A friend of Corot, he follows his vocation far from established doctrines. The son of a miniaturist he hardly got to know, he became in 1817 the pupil of WATELET and then entered in 1820 the studio of REGNAULT. His attachment to the sites of the Paris region goes back to this time, notably to that of Fontainebleau. In 1822 the artist goes to Rome at his own expense and will remain there until 1827.
We estimate this work of youth to have been done shortly after his return from Italy. Of a still classic composition and of confident craftsmanship, the painter successes in producing a landscape without concessions thought a great economy of means. The work is evidence of his role as a pioneer of outside painting in the early 1830s, before the advent of the school of Barbizon.
Fontainebleau, a place he discovers as soon as 1822 is probably the subject of this piece. This site indeed overflows with desolate places, perfect for working from nature and ideal for the romantic spirit of this generation. This attachment brings the artist into establishing there as he starts to rent a house in Barbizon right from his return from Italy, by the father Ganne, a famous innkeeper well celebrated by the numerous artist to whom he offered hospitality.