A precursor to the naturalistic yet Romantic school of landscape painting, Michel belonged to a “Dutch-revival” movement. Seventeenth-century Dutch landscape painters enjoyed renewed favour from art lovers, who appreciated their sincere, unaffected feeling. Michel, known as a “French Ruisdael,” copied and restored their paintings, which is how he became acquainted with the Dutch Old Masters. Each day, “the old painter of Montmartre,” as he was also known, walked around Paris and its outskirts, seeking subjects to record from life. It was only upon the 1841 sale of his studio, where a thousand paintings were piled up, that the Romantic generation discovered Michel’s modernity, his “wild” brushwork and his “furious” execution. After the fact, critics considered Michel to be a forerunner of the Barbizon School.