Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875)

Currently on View in H211
Image Licensing

Corot spent the summer of 1836 in southern France, where he and his fellow painters rose early each day to sketch directly from nature. This view of Villeneuve-les-Avignon with its luminous atmosphere and sense of rapid execution reflects his study in Italy.

Corot was a pupil of Neoclassical painters Michallon and Bertin, whose works also hang on this wall. From them he learned the basics of the French classical landscape tradition, with its emphasis on clearly organized and structured compositions.

On the right is the medieval tower built near the famous Avignon Bridge, now in ruins.

Sold at the posthumous sale of Corot's works at Hôtel Drouot in 1875 to Jean Dollfus, Paris, France; {1} (sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, March 1912 to a collector named Thorint. {2} Possibly collection of R. Mirabeau. {3} Richard M. C. Livingston, New York; (sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, New York May 1951). {4} probably (John Nicholson Gallery, New York, New York); {5} purchased by the John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, in 1952 with funds from the Legacy of James W. Fesler at the suggestion of Caroline Marmon Fesler, Indianapolis.

{1} The multiple catalogues of the "Vente Corot" which took place from 24 May to 9 June 1875 at the Hôtel Drouot, Paris, are reproduced in Alfred Robaut, L'Oeuvre de Corot, catalogue raisonné et illustré, vol. 4, 1905, reprint 1965. This painting is Robaut, cat. rais. no. 329 (ill. with a drawing) "Villeneuve-lez-Avignon -- Vue prise du midi en regardant le village." A red wax seal on the stretcher is further proof that this painting was in the posthumous sale.
{2} An annotated copy of the auction catalogue, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 2 March 1912, Catalogue de Tableaux modernes dependant des Collections de M. Jean Dollfus, no. 16 (ill.) is located at the Frick Art Reference Library, New York, and lists the buyer as Thorint, and the purchase price as 9200 francs.
{3} This information is unconfirmed, but appears in the 1951 Livingston auction catalogue (see below).
{4} Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, French and American Modern Paintings, Drawings and Prints: Property of Estate of the late Richard M.C. Livingston and of Dr. Franco Russo, 23 May 1951, no. 49 (ill.).
{5} IMA Temporary Receipt No. 5713 notes that the painting was "received from John Nicholson Gallery (through Julius Lowy, Inc.)".

Object Information

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875)
creation date
oil on academy board mounted on canvas
10-1/4 x 16-1/4 in.
18-1/4 x 24 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
Legacy of James W. Fesler
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture 1800-1945

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