Seated Woman Reading (c.1862). François Bonvin (French, 1817-1887). Oil on wood panel. Baltimore Museum of Art.
After becoming acquainted with Gustave Courbet, Bonvin became a leading exponent of Realism. Though he had little money, he encouraged and supported other artists, frequently giving supplies to his talented half-brother, Leon Bonvin. When the Salon rejected his fellow Realists James McNeill Whistler and Henri Fantin-Latour in 1859, Bonvin exhibited their work in his atelier.
“I do not like crooked, twisted, blasted trees. I admire them much more if they are tall, straight, and flourishing. I do not like ruined, tattered cottages. I am not fond of nettles or thistles, or heath blossoms. I have more pleasure in a snug farm-house than a watch-tower—and a troop of tidy, happy villages please me better than the finest banditti in the world.”
Marianne looked with amazement at Edward, with compassion at her sister. Elinor only laughed.
—Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, published on October 30, 1811
Wooded Landscape by Paulus Lieder and Landscape with a Bare Tree and a Ploughman by Leon Bonvin, The J. Paul Getty Museum; Fantastic Oak Tree in the Woods, Carl Wilhelm Kolbe the Elder, The Getty Research Institute