Master Paintings Evening Sale

Master Paintings Evening Sale


Property from a Private New York Collection


Auction Closed

January 30, 12:05 AM GMT


400,000 - 600,000 USD

Lot Details


Property from a Private New York Collection


Paris 1796 - Ville d'Avray 1875


stamped lower left: VENTE / COROT

oil on canvas

11⅜ by 16½ in.; 29 by 42 cm.


The artist;

His posthumous sale, Paris, Hotel Drouot, 26-28 May 1875, lot 83;

There acquired by Hector Brame, Paris;

Jules Paton, Paris;

His sale, Paris, Hotel Drouot, 24 April 1883, lot 39, for 1,850 francs;

There acquired by Comte Armand Doria, Paris;

His sale, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 4-5 May 1899, lot 58, for 16,300 francs;

Pierre Peytel, Paris;

Captain Edward Molyneux, Paris;

With Lefevre Gallery, London;

Albert D. Lasker, New York, by 1951;

Thence by descent to his wife Mrs Albert D. Lasker, New York;

With Lefevre Gallery, London;

With Acquavella Galleries, New York, 1977;

Tom Fee, United States, by 1989;

With Lefevre Gallery, London;

Richard M. Thune, Greenwich, Connecticut;

With Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, New York;

From whom purchased by a private collector.

E. Michel, Corot, Paris 1905, p. 22;

A. Robaut, L'Œuvre de Corot, Paris 1905, vol. II, pp. 108-09, cat. no. 308, reproduced, and vol. IV, p. 201, cat. no. 83;

E. Moreau-Nelaton, Corot: raconté par lui-même, Paris 1924, vol. I, pp. 36-37;

É. Faure, Corot, Paris 1931, reproduced plate 18;

R. Jean, Corot, Paris 1931, reproduced plate 15;

G. Bazin in L'Amour de l'Art, February 1936, p. 47, reproduced fig. 24;

G. Bazin, Corot, Paris 1942, reproduced plate 41;

J.-B.-C. Corot, Corot: raconté par lui-même et par ses amis. Pensées et écrits du peintre, Geneva 1946, vol. 1, p. 222, cat. no. 9, reproduced opposite p. 97;

G. Bazin, Corot, Paris 1951, p. 123, cat. no. 49, reproduced plate 49;

W. Brockway and A. Frankfurter, The Albert D. Lasker Collection: Renoir to Matisse, New York 1957, p. 5, reproduced plate 5;

F. Fosca, Corot: sa vie et son oeuvre, Brussels 1958, p. 219;

J. Leymarie, Corot: Étude biographique et critique, Geneva 1966, p. 55, reproduced;

G. Bazin, Corot, Paris 1973, p. 280;

J. Leymarie, Corot, London 1979, p. 48, reproduced;

J. Selz, La Vie et l'œuvre de Camille Corot, Paris 1988, pp. 80, 92, reproduced;

P. Galassi, Corot in Italy: Open-Air Painting and the Classical-Landscape Tradition, London and New Haven 1991, p. 215, reproduced plate 271;

M. Clarke, Corot and the Art of Landscape, London 1991, p. 47, reproduced in color;

G. Tinterow, M. Pantazzi and V. Pomarède, Corot, exh. cat., New York 1996, pp. 132-33, no. 57, reproduced;

R. Schiff, 'Natural, Personal, Pictorial: Corot and the Painter's Mark', in Barbizon: Malerei der Natur - Natur der Malerei, Munich 1999, pp. 123 and 130, reproduced p. 218, plate 16;

V. Pomarède, 'Théodore Caruelle d'Aligny', in Paysages d'Italie: les peintres du plein air, exh. cat., Paris 2001, p. 173, under no. 108;

R. Schiff, 'Expression: Natural, Personal, Pictorial', in A Companion to Art Theory, Hoboken 2008pp. 167-68, reproduced plate 13.1.

A look back at Corot’s long career as the most successful landscape painter of his generation reveals many different personalities. His style changed so dramatically over the years that he could be defined as not one but several distinct artists. Yet, even among all these various styles, he is best remembered for his plein air studies executed in Italy early in his career, with the present work being among the best of such examples. 

Imbued with harmonious tones as well as a crisp freshness, this wondrous canvas depicts the lake and town of Como nestled in the Alps of Northern Italy. It was completed in September 1834, just before Corot returned home to France from his second Italian sojourn early in his career, which lasted about six months. Como proved to be a successful source of inspiration for him, even though he only remained there for a few days, arriving on 28 September 1834 and leaving before 8 October. 

Corot executed this painting directly from nature, fluidly and rapidly capturing the brilliancy of the charming village and luminous lake from its opposite bank. He creatively framed the composition with loosely rendered foliage in the foreground and a vertical tree along the right edge, a technique that would later be embraced by the Impressionists. At the same time, with his remarkable sense of light as well as soft brushwork, Corot's sketches like this emit an air of timeless modernity that appeals as much to audiences today as it would have during the artist's lifetime.