This is a fine little book that attempts to trace, through the holdings of the National Gallery in London, the landscapes of the Barbizon school -- with an eye towards showing how they laid the ground for Monet and the Impressionists. The focus is thus on Daubigny, Corot, Diaz, and even on lesser lights -- such as this beautiful landscape by Antoine Chintreuil (1814-1873, titled Houses on the Cliffs near Fécamp (1861).
The book contains a very brief preface which describes the way in which the National Gallery came into possession of Barbizon paintings. The writer pulls no punches, and this brief essay is fascinating (pp. 7-11). There follow 40 large format color prints, and then quick commentaries (2 two a page) in the rear. The prints themselves are good, but often don't take up the whole page, and so are not as easy to see as I would have liked. The book itself is a large format, and so a lot of space got wasted.
There are not that many Corots - and I'm looking for a good (affordable) collection of his pictures -- if anyone knows of one, please let me know --, but the volume fills a gap that had been bothering me -- and does so with selections that are both lovely in themselves and that make the larger point.