A Woodland Glade

Henri Fantin-Latour, 1836 - 1904

A Woodland Glade

Henri Fantin-Latour 1836 - 1904


Described by Mme Fantin-Latour in her catalogue raisonné as 'Deux baigneuses dans un paysage vert et accidenté', this scene, which takes place in a sunlit woodland glade, may have been inspired by a piece of orchestral music or opera. A woman in a crimson gown stands on the left, with alluringly bare shoulders. Another woman reclines half naked in a peach coloured gown, with a diaphanous fabric draped over her arm. The figures, like the setting, are indistinct, the emphasis on composition and colour. The brightly coloured gowns appear quite foreign in the simple woodland setting. Fantin-Latour studied from the age of ten with his father, Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1805–75). In 1850, at fourteen, he began an apprenticeship in the Paris studio of Horace Lecocq de Boisbaudran, where he spent six years copying from the Old Masters and from nature, which was standard practice in mid-nineteenth-century ateliers. Following a brief spell at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he studied briefly with Gustave Courbet, although he would reject the latter's extreme realism. Fantin-Latour sometimes exhibited alongside the Impressionists, but he continued to show his work at the Salon, where his work attracted good reviews. From the 1870s, he developed further his early interest in mythological subjects and music, inspired by Old Master painting, and by the music of Wagner and Berlioz. His brushwork was often loose, as it is here, but the lustrous realism of his still life painting recalls the meticulous work of 17th and 18th century Dutch masters of that genre, and that of the great 18th century French still life painter, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699-1779).

Object Name

A Woodland Glade

Creators Name

Henri Fantin-Latour


framed: 47.4cm x 52.1cm

accession number


Place of creation







Dr David Lloyd Roberts bequest, 1920


© Manchester Art Gallery

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