The present drawing is a ricordo of Corot's own picture The Destruction of Sodom (fig. 1) (New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art), probably executed during a visit to his friend Constant Dutilleux (1807-1865) in Arras (Robaut, op. cit.).
The picture was first exhibited at the Salon of 1844 (no. 460), after its rejection in 1843. In 1857, after much re-working, Corot exhibited it at the Salon again (no. 593); the new version, very different from the previous one, was severely criticized (Corot 1796-1875, exhib. cat., Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, 1996, under no. 114). A study for the first version of the picture is in the Louvre (inv. no. 8797) (see M. Servot, Dessins de Corot, Paris, 1962, no. 60); another for the revised version is also in the Louvre (inv. no. 8719).
We are grateful to Claire Lebeau and Martin Dieterle for confirming the attribution and for their help in cataloguing this drawing.