This early work by Rousseau reveals his lifelong devotion to painting directly from nature. A leading figure of the Barbizon school of landscape painting, he set an important example for the Impressionist generation. He was an early champion of French landscape over the heroic Italian motifs of the classical repertoire, developing convincing atmospheric effects through plein-air painting. As he put it: “I was listening to the voices of the trees. Suddenly I learned the forest language from their unpredictable movements, their different shapes, and the extraordinary way they would respond to light . . . they could not speak, but I could read their gestures and discern what they were feeling."