(b Paris, 15 Apr. 1812; d Barbizon, 22 Dec. 1867). French landscape painter, the central figure of the Barbizon School. He was one of the pioneers of landscape painting in the open air (see plein air), and because of the non-academic outlook of his work it was for several years consistently rejected by the Salon, earning him the nickname ‘le grand refusé’ (the period during which his pictures were turned down, 1836–41, was, however, shorter than is generally imagined and he had earlier had several paintings accepted and even won a medal, in 1834).
Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)