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Gallery Text

Celebrated for his landscape paintings, Corot was the leading member of the Barbizon school, named for a village southeast of Paris where many artists gathered. Although their landscapes appear peaceful and serene, the collective sought to imbue them with sociopolitical significance in the wake of the revolutions of 1830 and 1848 and the constant upheaval that marked French culture and politics throughout the nineteenth century. When figures were included — as they are in this painting — they were often indistinct features secondary to the setting. Composed in the last decade of Corot’s life, this bucolic scene is enveloped in the soft, diffuse light for which his work was lauded, and framed on both sides by trees in his signature manner. Form and tone are characteristically privileged over detail, as Corot wrote in one of his sketchbooks: “I never hurry to arrive at details; the masses and character of a picture interest me before anything else.”

Identification and Creation
Object Number
2004.106
People
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, French (Paris 1796 - 1875 Ville d'Avray)
Title
Cattle at Pasture in a Wooded Valley
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting
Date
1865-1875
Culture
French
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/221746
Location
Level 2, Room 2100, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, Centuries of Tradition, Changing Times: Art for an Uncertain Age
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
40.4 x 61.1 cm (15 7/8 x 24 1/16 in.)
framed: 75 x 96.5 cm (29 1/2 x 38 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: light brown oil at l.l.: Corot
Provenance
Auguste Courtin, Paris, sold [through Courtin sale, Hôtel Drouot, no. 33, 1886]; to [Galerie Georges Petit, Paris].
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Given in memory of Anne Bradley Eliot Middendorf by her children, Mary E. Fay and Anne E. Hiatt, and their families
Accession Year
2004
Object Number
2004.106
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Publication History

Alfred Robaut, L'Oeuvre de Corot, Laget (Paris, France, 1965), no. 1932, repr. in b/w

Exhibition History

32Q: 2100 19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu