1 November 2001
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875)
L'eglise d'Essommes, près Chateau-Thierry
signed 'Corot' (lower left)
oil on panel
9½ x 12¾ in. (24 x 32.5 cm.)
Painted in 1856
E. F. Hérbert, Essommes, 1856 (gift from the artist).
Anon. sale, Palais Galliera, Paris, 9 March 1967, lot 34.
Anon. sale, Christie's, London, 27 June 1995, lot 129.
Anon. sale, Tajan, Paris, 19 April 1996, lot 32.
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A. Robaut, L'Oeuvre de Corot, catalogue raisonné et illustré, Paris, 1965, vol. II, p. 312, no. 1021 (illustrated with a drawing by Robaut p. 313).
The summer of 1856 found Corot traveling through the countryside and small villages of northern France, stopping in the villages of Essommes in the Ile-de-France, Luzancy and Château-Thierry, where he was frequently hosted by friends, fellow painters and collectors. It is documented that during this particular trip he stayed at the home of Monsieur Hérbert, a collector who formed part of a devoted circle of the artist's admirers. The present composition is one of seven depictions Corot made of the countryside surrounding the small town of Château-Thierry as recorded by Robaut. This charming view of a medieval church enshrouded by trees was given to Hérbert as a gift shortly after its completion and Robaut further speculates that it was painted on Hérbert's own property.
This work has been examined and authenticated by Martin Dieterle.
Martin Dieterle will include this work in his forthcoming Corot catalogue raisonné supplement.
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