It’s a privilege to learn a craft at the art academy, but it’s not always the only way. Barbizon was created as an act of rebellion against the rules of the academy. As the first artists’ colony developed in the forest of Fontainebleau (near Paris), artists flocked to the peaceful surroundings longing for a ‘good and simple’ life. No set academy boundaries, but working in the open air, sketching landscapes, woodlands, and scenes of village life.
This was the start of Impressionism. Apart from working outdoors, these Naturalist and Realist artists painted in their studios too. Later on, in around 1850, the idea of working in groups of artists and getting inspired by the simple outdoor life attracted artists from foreign countries too. These painters were particularly coming from the Anglo-Saxion countries, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. It was the beginning of a more communal way of living and working. A new movement of artists in communities, slowly spreading throughout Europe.