1796 - 1875
stamped with the VENTE COROT stamp (lower left); VENTE COROT wax seal (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
20⅛ by 31⅝ in.
51.1 by 80.3 cm
We would like to thank Martin Dieterle and Claire Lebeau for kindly confirming the authenticity of this lot.
Lined. The work presents well and appears clean and fresh. Under UV: sparse areas of varnish fluoresce green. In the sky at upper left there is one small dot of inpainting and a 4 inch horizontal line of inpainting (somewhat visible to naked eye); and in the foliage at lower center there is a 1/2 inch minor area of inpainting. There are a very few sparsely applied minor retouches in the lower left quadrant; and a few lines of inpainting at and near the extreme lower center edge, the most notable being a 2 1/2 inch horizontal line.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD “AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
The artist's studio (and sold, his posthumous sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 26-28, 1875, lot 491 (as Dans la vallée))
Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, no. 1245 (acquired at the above sale)
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, May 26, 1983, lot 29, illustrated
Acquired at the above sale
Alfred Robaut, L'oeuvre de Corot, catalogue raisonné et illustré, Paris, 1965, vol. III, p. 368, no. 2365, illustrated p. 369
Painted circa 1870-74, Vallée solitaire is representative of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot’s artistic ingenuity and painterly freedom. A drawing in paint, the loose gestural brushwork borders on abstraction. The work is a showcase of the artist’s confident inventiveness, with the broadly scumbled plane of grass punctuated by long wisps of branches dragged through the sky.
In the last fifteen years of his life, Corot experienced a renewal of critical appreciation for his work. Collectors and dealers eagerly sought out his canvases, and throughout the 1860s and 1870s he was readily included in the Paris Salon, either because he was on the jury himself, or automatically admitted hors concours (a departure from his difficulties in the 1840s and 1850s). In 1877 the French Art critic Charles Blanc remembered that Corot “was loved like a comrade and respected like a master” (as quoted in Gary Tinterow, Michael Pantazzi, Vincent Pomarède, Corot, exh. cat., New York, 1996, p. 259). Seeking his instruction and approval was a younger generation of painters including Berthe Morisot and Camille Pissarro, identified as a pupil of Corot in Salon brochures as a sign of respect, while Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Alfred Sisley each experimented with the artist’s techniques in the 1860s. In 1897, Monet wrote “There is only one master here—Corot. We are nothing compared to him, nothing” (as quoted in Tinterow, et. al., p. xiv).