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

Souvenir d'Italie, soleil couchant

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875)
Souvenir d'Italie, soleil couchant
signed and dated 'COROT 1872' (lower right)
oil on canvas
23 x 28 in. (59 x 72 cm.)
painted in 1872

Lot Essay

'I am fine,' Corot wrote to friend in 1872. 'I'm working as if I were seventy...' (Corot, letter to Jean de la Rochenoire, August 29, 1871, quoted in Robaut 1905, vol. 4, p. 345, no.211). During the last years of his life, public affection for Corot had deepened. His popularity had not waned and collectors and dealers alike waited impatiently for his paintings to dry so they could be released from the artist's studio. At the Salon he continued to be a success, although now that he was either on the jury or hors concurs, his work was automatically accepted. The reviewers of the Salon consistently wrote long eulogies on the 'poet of the landscape.'

Corot had become the grand old man of French painting. Young painters such as Berthe Morisot sought out his instruction and approval. Camille Pissaro described himself in his entries to the Salon as 'student of Corot' in an effort to win more respect from his contemporaries, andmany others did the same. And unexpectedly, Corot was adopted and
admired by the critics of the New Painting: Emile Zola, Theodore Duret and Edmond Duranty all considered Corot to be the progenitor of Impressionism. At one time or another, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Pierre-Auguste Renoir all experimented with Corot's method or technique.

This work has been authenticated by Martin Dieterle and will be included in the 6th supplement of the Corot catalogue raisonné.

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