Private Collection, France
Acquired from the above circa 1992
During the period between 1840 and 1845, Corot experimented with means of expressing emotion through the female figure. In the present work, the artist portrays his great-niece, Louise-Laure Baudot, the grand daughter of his sister Anette-Octavie Sennegon. As with all of his early figural works, Corot kept Louise-Laurie Baudot hidden, only selling and exhibiting these complex images of women at a much later date. Encouraged by his close friend, Constant Dutilleux, Corot exhibited one such work, La Toilette, at the 1859 Salon and sold it that same year. Corot apparently feared that Salon critics and the public alike, enamored of his famous landscapes, might reject these figural works. Instead, they sold briskly throughout the 1860's to discerning collectors, who recognized the sophistication of these unprecedented images of beautifully mysterious women. Today, these masterworks powerfully convey Corot's revelatory grasp of modern sensibilities.
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