Postmarked 17 August 1943
US Army Postal Service
"A Way Out of the Forest at Fontainebleau," Theodore RousseauPostcard Message
Dear Mr. L / The French really know how to --- - loved p---t--. For ---- to anything I've -- in this later. / --- -- --- --- --- ---- view of the end of the ---. G-- --! / R-yI think the inspector passed this postcard because there was no way to read what it says! Of course, if you are able to decipher the message, please add a comment with your translation! I don't have many postcards from soldiers serving in World War II, but I am interested in them and was happy to find this card.
The cows on the front of the postcard interest me, too. I have tried to find out more about this painting, but haven't had too much success. It appears in the Louvre database, but other than that, I could see the painting referenced only once, on Art.com, as The Edge of the Forest at Fontainebleau, Setting Sun, 1850-51.
I did learn that Theodore Rousseau (1812-1867) painted a number of scenes from the Forest of Fontainebleau. This piece looks like it could be inspired from the same tree as the painting on the postcard! The Interweb tells me that Rousseau was a major figure in landscape painting. Unlike other painters at the time, Rousseau would paint outside while directly observing the landscape he tried to capture. His influences included Richard Parkes Bonington, John Constable, and Dutch realists.
Rousseau rejected academic art, or the type of artwork sanctioned by the French Academy of Fine Arts and other European Institutions. In academic art, landscapes were not painted from nature but only provided a setting for philosophical messages. As a result, he did not receive recognition from the French Salon from 1836-1841.
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