The Barbizon School was formed by a group of French landscape painters towards the end of the first third of the 19th century. The artists stayed in the village of Barbizon near the forest of Fontainebleau. It is not a school in the strict sense. The painters did not strive for a uniform aesthetic or a fixed school structure. What united them was rather the rejection of academic teaching in favour of a direct approach to nature.
The painters' colony, which was founded by Théodore Rousseau around 1825 and existed until around 1870, had a decisive influence on landscape painting throughout Europe, especially Impressionism.