Dimensions : H. 15.7 x W. 12.2 inches (With frame: H. 67.5 x W. 58.2 cm/H. 26.3 x W. 22.8 inches)
Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot was born July 16, 1796. He came from a family of wealthy retailers and convinced his parents to let him pursue a career as a painter.
In 1822, Corot trained at the art studio of the landscape painter Achille Etna Michallon (1796-1822). Michallon instilled in Corot the principles of Neoclassicism and encouraged him to paint in plein air. Corot then continued his training with Jean-Victor Bertin, who had Michallon as a student, and like Michallon, taught Corot the science of neoclassical compositions and historical landscapes.
Corot traveled throughout France and also to Italy, where he resided three times. His relationship with classical ideals and the observation of nature stayed fundamental to him throughout his career. Corot was able to create rich and varied works of art that touched all aspects of styles of art during his time.
Starting in 1850, he became more and more attracted to a type of painting in which he gave himself free rein to his imagination and abandoned the technique of accurately depicting landscapes he painted in plein air. He configured these landscapes to his liking and renounced historical stories going along with the landscape he was viewing. It was only a pretext for dreamy landscapes bathed in silver or golden halos. The theme of "memory" became the dominant factor in his artworks which mixed the reminiscences of a landscape and the emotions that remain associated in the memory of the painter.
Corot made the transition from the neoclassical style to painting in plein air. His research on light, preference for painting in plein air, and for painting a landscape "on the spot" are all characteristics of Impressionism before it was created.
Our painting was painted around 1860-1870. On the back of the painting are two certificates of authenticity. The first certificate was written by S Cahen, "I certify that this painting by Corot is authentic, Paris, March 5, 1887." The second certificate was written by Lambert frères, "We certify that this painting by Corot is authentic. Nice, May 15, 1889." Our painting was also a part of many private collections including that of: Larsen del Castano, Aristubulo del Valle, and lastly the private collection of Gonnet (which was in his possession by 1932). In 1934, our painting was exhibited in an exhibition organized by the Musée National des Beaux-Arts in Buenos Aires.
Paris, Musée du Louvre et Musée d'Orsay
London, Wallace Collection
London, National Gallery
Montreal, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Washington D. C., National Gallery
-E. Bénézit, Dictionnaire des Peintres Sculpteurs Dessinateurs et Graveurs,
Tome III, p. 903-908.