Lot 7
  • 7

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Estimate
200,000 - 300,000 GBP
Sold
297,000 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
  • Marcoussis, route à travers les champs
  • signed COROT lower right
  • oil on canvas

Provenance

Mallet, Paris (by 1891)
Willis Vickery
Baron J. de Rothschild, Paris
Baron H. de Rothschild, Paris
Miriam D. Thropp, New York (sale: American Art Association, 19 January 1933, lot 68)
Durand-Ruel, New York
Arthur Sachs, Paris (by 1961)
Marian François-Poncet (by descent from the above); thence by descent
Private collection, USA

Exhibited

New York, Durand-Ruel, Exhibition of Important Paintings by French Masters, 1934, no. 6, illustrated in the catalogue (erroneously listed as Robaut no. 1805)
Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, 100 Chefs-d'œuvre des collections françaises, 1961

Literature

Alfred Robaut, L'Œuvre de Corot: Catalogue raisonné et illustréParis, 1905, vol. III, p. 22, no. 1305, catalogued (as Marcoussis - Route à travers champs), p. 23, illustrated (reproduction of a drawing by Robaut)

Catalogue Note

Painted circa 1865-70.

Along with Ville d'Avray, Marcoussis was one of Corot's favourite places to paint near Paris. Situated some twenty-five kilometres south of the capital, Marcoussis was the subject of one of six major works by Corot shown at the 1855 Paris Exposition Universelle. That work was bought by Emperor Napoleon III for his own personal collection, ignoring official advice, and now hangs in the Musée d'Orsay. Corot regularly travelled to Marcoussis to visit fellow artist Ernest-Joachim Dumax, including in the summers of 1855, 1857, and 1867. The present work was either painted during, or inspired by, one of these trips.

Depicting a serene summer's day, the view looks out from the edge of the village, towards one of the ridges of hills which border it on two sides. In contrast to Corot's souvenirs from this period - silvery poetic reminiscences of a particular place distilled through the imagination - the present work is very much set in time and place and, if not painted in the open air, was at least based on direct observation on the spot. The immediacy of the observed light and tonalities is striking.

Athough official recognition was a long time coming, by the late 1860s Corot was enjoying critical and popular success, not least thanks to the exhibition of seven key works at the Exposition Universelle of 1867. More than any other artist, Corot's work represents the bridge between the classical landscape of Poussin and early Impressionism. Pissarro (fig. 1) described himself as a pupil of Corot in the Salon brochures, as a measure of respect, and others did the same. 

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