Landscape at Civita Castellana

Camille Corot (French, Paris 1796–1875 Paris )

1826 or 1827
Oil on paper, laid down on canvas
7 3/8 x 11 5/8 in. (18.7 x 29.5 cm)
Credit Line:
Thaw Collection, Jointly Owned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of Eugene V. Thaw, 2009
Accession Number:
  • Gallery Label

    Corot explored the countryside around Civita Castellana, some thirty miles north of Rome, in 1826 and 1827. He responded to the varied terrain with an amazing breadth of technique that ranges from finely detailed topographical renderings in pen and ink to lushly painted oil sketches, but this work is among the most fluid that he made there or at any point in his career. Its rapidity of execution testifies to the artist’s aim of capturing his first impression of this panoramic view. Corot gave this work to his friend Bardon, an obscure figure despite being the first owner of his late masterpiece Lady in Blue (Musée du Louvre, Paris).

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed and inscribed (lower left): COROT à BARDON

  • Provenance

    G. Bardon, Paris (by 1875–at least 1878; gift of the artist); sale, Christie's, London, November 21, 1997, no. 178, for £41,000 ($69,496); Eugene V. Thaw, New York (by 2002–9)

  • Exhibition History

    New York. Pierpont Morgan Library. "The Thaw Collection: Master Drawings and Oil Sketches, Acquisitions Since 1994," September 27, 2002–January 19, 2003, no. 90.

    Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art. "The Romantic Prospect: Plein Air Painters, 1780–1850," June 22–August 15, 2004, no. 36.

    Sydney. Art Gallery of New South Wales. "Plein-air Painting in Europe, 1780–1850," September 4–October 31, 2004, no. 36.

    Melbourne. National Gallery of Victoria. "Plein-air Painting in Europe, 1780–1850," November 19, 2004–January 16, 2005, no. 36.

  • References

    Alfred Robaut. L'Œuvre de Corot: Catalogue raisonné et illustré. [reprint 1965]. Paris, 1905, vol. 2, pp. 62–63, no. 173, ill., as "Cività Castellana.—Plateaux sur les montagnes," dated 1826–27; illustrated by Robaut's drawing after the painting, presumably made in 1878, at the collector Bardon's.

    André Jullien and Renée Jullien. "Les campagnes de Corot au nord du Rome (1826–1827)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 99 (May–June 1982), pp. 190, 198 n. 32.

    Cara Dufour Denison in The Thaw Collection: Master Drawings and Oil Sketches, Acquisitions Since 1994. Exh. cat., Pierpont Morgan Library. New York, 2002, pp. 196–97, no. 90, ill. (color), as "Cività Castellana plateaux sur les montagnes"; notes this sketch's similarity to another one made nearby (Phillips Collection, Washington; Robaut 1905, no. 142); mistakenly conjectures that dedicatee named in inscription was the painter Théodore Bardon (French, active 1839–48).

    Charlotte Gere in Plein-Air Painting in Europe, 1780–1850. Exh. cat., Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art. Shizuoka, 2004, p. 83, no. 36, ill. (color), as "View of the plateaux of Cività Castellana [Cività Castellana plateaux sur les montagnes]"; describes it as "one of the most fleeting and abstract" oil sketches made by Corot at Cività Castellana in May 1826 and autumn 1827.

    Esther Bell. "Catalogue Raisonné of the Thaw Collection." Studying Nature: Oil Sketches from the Thaw Collection. New York, 2011, p. 112, no. 31, ill. (color), calls it "Landscape at Cività Castellana" and dates it 1826 or 1827.

  • See also