Eugene Blery: Views of the French Countryside
The Norton Simon Museum presents Eugène Bléry: Views of the French Countryside, an exhibition of selected prints by the French artist Eugène Bléry (1805-1886). Bléry and his contemporaries, such as Corot, Daubigny, and Rousseau, were forerunners of the emerging Barbizon school, whose proponents sought to produce naturalistic landscape and genre subjects by working in situ. The artists of this new movement embraced etching for its sketchy, free flowing lines, which were perfectly suited to their temporal style of art. For these artists, the suggestive quality of the etched line evoked a sense of unity in their representations of nature.
The works in this exhibition illustrate the key periods in Bléry's career, from his first attempts at commercially successful prints to his more personal renderings of botanical studies. During these years, his works were consistently exhibited at the yearly Paris Salons. Bléry received great critical and public acclaim, winning first place in 1840 and the "Croix" in 1846. Although today his works are not widely known, they represent a critical period in the development of plein-air painting.