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

Souvenir d'Italie. Paysanne ramassant du bois.

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875)
Souvenir d'Italie. Paysanne ramassant du bois.
signed 'COROT' (lower left)
oil on canvas
20¾ x 16¾ in. (52.7 x 42.6 cm.)
Painted circa 1870-72.
with Boussod et Valadon, no. 30985.
The Estate of William Mazer, USA.
Anonymous sale, Christie's, New York, 16 october 1991, lot 76.
Anonymous sale, Christie's, New York, 19 November 1998, lot 228.
with Richard Green, London, 1998.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
M. Dieterle and C. Lebeau, Corot. Cinquième supplément à l'oeuvre de Corot, Paris, 2002, pp. 108-109, no. 105 (illustrated).

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Lot Essay

The evolution of Corot's nostalgic landscapes, which began with paintings such as lot 58, found its culmination in works such as the this Souvenir, which is characteristic of the best works executed by the artist at the end of his life. The tonal contrasts of strong light and shade have been replaced by the softer, more uniform glow of evening light, suffusing the entire canvas. The signature compositional devices, however, remain the same: just as in the earlier work, the trees lean into each other to frame the distant hilltop village, which anchors the composition, and the scene is animated by a single figure wearing a red hat, perhaps the single most recognizable trademark motif of Corot's oeuvre.

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