Theodore Rousseau was born on April 15, 1812 in Paris, the son of a wealthy tailor. He studied with the landscape painter C. Remont, then with Guyon-Letiere. In the late 1820s, Rousseau began to work independently in the open air, creating landscapes in the vicinity of Paris.
In the future, Rousseau travels a lot, capturing the wild nature of France, unassuming rural views, streets and squares of provincial French towns on his canvases.
In 1831, nineteen-year-old Rousseau applied to participate in the Paris Salon. His wilderness landscape “Auvergne” is recognized for its lively writing technique. In 1833, Theodore Rousseau exhibited the painting “View in the Environs of Granville” at the Salon.
In the mid-1830s, Russo visits the Jura Mountains of Switzerland. Returning to Paris, the artist presents to the Salon the painting “Descent of cows from the high mountain pastures of the Jura”. But the jury rejects the composition for such a simple and ordinary plot, considering it a challenge to the tastes of a respectable society.
The opinion of the Salon is disputed by some critics and artists, and one of them, the painter Ari Schaeffer, bought the landscape and exhibited it in his studio. The salon found Rousseau’s behavior defiant and for thirteen years did not accept his work.
Over time, a circle of his fellow artists formed around Rousseau, just like he painted nature in nature – Caba, Daubigny and Dupre. This is how the Barbizon school gradually arose.
Theodore Rousseau died on December 22, 1867 in Barbizon at the age of 55 from a heart failure.