Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
MORNEX (HAUTE-SAVOIE)-AU FOND, LE MÔLE
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
MORNEX (HAUTE-SAVOIE)-AU FOND, LE MÔLE

Details & Cataloguing

Corot to Monet – French Landscape Painting in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Hong Kong

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
1796 - 1875
MORNEX (HAUTE-SAVOIE)-AU FOND, LE MÔLE
Signed COROT (lower left)
Oil on canvas
15 1/4 by 24 1/8 in.
40 by 50 cm
Painted circa 1842.

Provenance

Mulhouse Hartmann (sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 11, 1876, lot 8)
Jean Dollfus, Paris (acquired at the above sale)
Adrien Dollfus, Paris (by descent from the above)
Charles Dollfus, Paris (by descent from the above)
Alfred E. Daber, Paris (acquired in 1960)
Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., London
Paul Mellon, New York and Virginia (sold: Christie's New York, November 15, 1983, lot 8)
Acquavella Galleries, New York (acquired at the above sale)
The Lefevre Gallery (Alex. Reid & Lefevre, Ltd.), London (acquired from the above in 1986)
Private Collection, Japan (acquired from the above)
Sold: Christie's, New York, May 12, 1999, lot 3, illustrated
Acquired at the above sale by the current owner

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Exposition Rétrospective de Tableaux & Dessins des Maîtres Modernes, 1878, no. 91, p. 16 (titled Vue prise auprès du Lac de Genève)
Paris, Salle des États au Louvre, Exposition de Tableaux, Statues, et Objets d'Art au Profit de l'Oeuvre des Orphelins d'Alsace-Lorraine, 1885, no. 68 (titled Vue de Suisse à Mornex, près de Genève)
Paris, Galerie Paul Rosenberg, Exposition d'Oeuvres de Corot, Paysages de France et Figures au profit de l'oeuvre de l'Allaitement Maternal, 1930, no. 16
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Camille Corot 1796-1875, 1934, no. 58, illustrated p. 40 (titled Mornex, au fond le Môle)
Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie, Corot, 1936, no. 52, p. 27 (titled Mornex. Au fond le Môle)
Lyon, Musée de Lyon, Exposition Corot, 1936, no. 41, p. 21 (titled Mornex. Au fond le Môle)
Paris, Galerie Alfred E. Daber, Le Divin Corot, Exposition du 155ème Anniversaire de la Naissance 1796-1951, 1951, no. 10 (titled Mornex (Haute-Savoie))
Bern, Kunstmuseum, Corot, 1960, no. 37, illustrated
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, French Paintings from the Collections of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon and Mrs. Mellon Bruce, 25th Anniversary Exhibition, 1966, no. 2 (titled Landscape at Mornex (Haute-Savoie) - Morning)
London, The Lefevre Gallery (Alex. Reid & Lefevre, Ltd.), Important Works of Art, 1984, no. 3
Geneva, Musée Rath, Corot en Suisse, 2010-2011, no. 8

Literature

Etienne Moreau-Nélaton, Corot raconté par lui-même, vol. 1, Paris, 1924, fig. 83, p. 52, illustrated p. 53
Collection de Monographies d'Art Astra-Arengaricun, Corot, Milan and Florence, 1952, pl. 60, illustrated
François Fosca, Corot, sa vie et son oeuvre, Brussels, 1958, no. 51, p. 105, illustrated
Alfred Robaut, L'Oeuvre de Corot, Catalogue raisonné et illustré, vol II, Paris, 1965, no. 508, p. 186, illustrated p. 187
Jean Leymarie, Corot, Lausanne, 1977, p. 77, illustrated in color

Catalogue Note

A look back on Corot's long career as the most successful landscape painter of his generation reveals an artist of many different personalities; Corot's style changed so dramatically over the years that he could accurately be classified not as one, but as several different painters.  He is mainly remembered for his plein air studies of Italy from the 1820s, his traditional "Poussinesque" Salon submissions from the 1850s and the silvery souvenirs of the 1860s and 1870s. The period from the early 1830s until the late 1840s is not as well documented, and yet this twenty year span included many of Corot's most beautiful and innovative compositions. The paintings from this period reveal that he found subject matter not only in France - from the Morvan to Barbizon - but also in Italy and Switzerland.  The present painting was most likely painted during Corot's 1842 trip to Switzerland, and represents Mornex, a specific location that Corot observed first-hand.  A drawing of a similar setting in the Haute-Savoie dated 1842 (Robaut, no. 2737) confirms the location and date of the present painting.

The diagonal line of the furrowed earth of the Salève at Mornex emphasizes the recession of the hillside.  In the foreground, thick green grass, the field of wild flowers and the reflections of the sun give evidence that it is a warm summer day.  This is confirmed by the band of trees in the middle ground – all heavy with the foliage of summer. In the far off distance a range of snow-capped mountains are silhouetted against a blue sky.  The three children in the lower right rank among Corot's most appealing figure groups.  Their inclusion elevates the painting to something more than a pure landscape, and such immediacy (especially the young girl who looks directly at the viewer) supports that this was a scene Corot observed first hand during his visit to Mornex.

Corot to Monet – French Landscape Painting in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Hong Kong