Les Sablières près de Valmondois by Charles Francois Daubigny - 21 5/8 x 38 inches Signed and dated 1872 french barbizon plein air plain air landscape
Charles Francois Daubigny
(1817 - 1878)

Les Sablières près de Valmondois

Signed and dated 1872
Oil on canvas
21 5/8 x 38 inches

In 1890, George W. Sheldon made the following comments about Watching the Cows, on the borders of the river Oise. This picture, often called The Sand-Pit, [Les Sablières près de Valmondois], is one of the most beautiful of Daubigny's landscapes.

Art Association, New York
M. Knoedler & Co., New York, as On the Oise
Collection Hawley, USA
Denver Art Museum
Wildenstein, New York
Kleeman Galleries, New York
Wilhelm Grovermann, Augsburg
Hazlitt Gallery, London, 1960
Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt
Bühler-Brockhaus Collection, circa 1978
Rehs Galleries, Inc., New York City
Collection, Eurasia

London, Hazlitt Gallery, Some Paintings of the Barbizon School VI, 1960, no. 10 as Pâturage au bord de rivière
Munich, Galerie Dr. Bühler, Von Daubigny bis Delacroix, 1985, no. 6 (illustrated)
Aulnay-sous-Bois, Hôtel de Ville, Pontoise, Musée Pissarro, Charles-François Daubigny 1990-1991, no. 45, (illustrated)
Leipzig, Museum der bildenden Kunste, Von Corot bis Monet, Sammlung Marion und Hans-Peter Buhler, 1995-96, no. 5 (illustrated)
Auvers-sur-Oise, Musée Daubigny, Daubigny, 2000, no. 23 (illustrated)

George William Sheldon, Ideals of Life in France, D. Appleton & Co., New York & London, 1890, illustrated pg. 60; titled Watching the Cows
'Paintings of the Barbizon School: an Exhibition in London', Illustrated London News, May 1960, illustrated.
Robert Hellebranth, Charles-François Daubigny, Morges, 1976, p.66, no. 178, catalogued and illustrated in color; also color illustrated on the back cover.


Daubigny was particularly fond of this bend of the Oise, to which he returned to paint on numerous occasions. Robert Hellebranth records no fewer than seven views painted between 1863 and 1877, differently staffed but always showing the distinctive gravel pits (sablières) in the middle ground.

Daubigny's landscapes were called 'pieces of nature cut out and framed in gold' by the contemporary critic Théophile Gautier, while Charles Baudelaire praised Daubigny for his ability to 'transmit immediately to the viewer's soul the original feeling that pervaded his landscapes'.

To help him in his study of natural light, Daubigny had a small boat fitted out as a studio so that he could study and interpret his subjects at first hand. What he discovered and incorporated in small studies done from nature he increasingly carried over into his finished paintings, lending them a directness and luminosity not seen in French painting before.

Later, following Daubigny's example, Claude Monet adopted the idea of a studio boat. Indeed, in his wish to capture the essence of nature by taking painting completely out of doors, Daubigny became an important fore-runner of the Impressionists.