Mailing Address:
PO Box 619999
Dallas, TX 75261-6199

Street Address:
2801 W. Airport Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75261-4127
(Northwest corner of W. Airport Freeway [HWY-183] & Valley View Lane)

Important: Use our map link to see location / directions. Typing our address directly into a map search may misdirect you.

877-HERITAGE (437-4824)
(214) 528-3500
Fax: (214) 409-1425

Auction Name: 2021 June 4 Fine European Art Signature Auction

Lot Number: 69053

Shortcut to Lot:

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875)
Lisière de bois, circa 1845-55
Oil on canvas
22 x 18-1/4 inches (55.9 x 46.4 cm)
Signed lower right: Corot

Son of M. Gérard, 1892;
Sale: MacLean, Paris, June 7, 1900, lot 5337;
Arnold et Tripp, Paris;
Sale: Chaine et Simonson, Paris, November 8, 1919;
Newhouse Galleries, New York;
Private collection, Texas, acquired from the above, 1971.

A. Robaut, L'Oeuvre de Corot: Catalogue raisonné et illustré, vol. II, Paris, H. Floury, 1905, no. 849, pp. 274-75.

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot most likely started this moody landscape, as was his practice, when he left Paris each spring to travel at a feverish pace around the rural countryside, painting "souvenirs" of the local landscape. While many of his scenes record specific sites, this particular view has not been identified, and was probably finished back in his studio.

In this composition, Corot devoted more than three-quarters of the picture surface to the dense forest, leaving on the left a slice of restless sky, a glimpse of a town view, and a stolid figure standing in a clear patch of ground beside a pile of twigs he is gently poking into order with a stick. Collected on the floor of the forest, these branches will likely become a cache of kindling the man will bind together into a bundle and carry home to his hearth.

True to form, Corot painted the sky last, bringing it down over the roofs of the houses in the left distance. The hesitant gray-blue tonality of the sky is particularly striking, compared to the restrained use of color in the foreground and into the horizon. It is hard to decipher the line between forest and town, perhaps indicating the two have become intertwined. Similar to his masterpiece, Bathing nymphs and child (The Art Institute of Chicago), from the same time period, the large mass of deep, dark forest at the center of Lisière de bois seems to indicate the forest is taking over. It is thought that Corot also added tree trunks at a late stage-their subtle, highlighted forms literally serving to ground the scene.

Similar to the iconic The four times of day series (c. 1858) at the National Gallery in London, Lisière de bois contains a single flash of bright red in the cap of the peasant, which became Corot's trademark. Indeed, as he noted: "In a painting there is always one bright spot: but it must be unique. You can place it anywhere you want to: in the clouds, in the reflection of the water, in a bonnet; but there can only be a single tone of this value in a painting" (E. Moreau-Nelaton, Histoire de Corot et de ses oeuvres, Paris, 1905, p. 286).

We would like to thank Martin Dieterle and Claire Lebeau for kindly confirming the authenticity of this lot, which is accompanied by their letter of authenticity dated April 12, 2019.

Condition Report*: Glue Lined canvas; Under UV exam, two 1/4 inch spots of inpaint in the sky in the upper left quadrant; One 1/4 inch spot of inpaint on the extreme right edge, center; Fine craquelure on the right half. Alexis Ottoz canvas suppliers' stamp verso.
Framed Dimensions 31.5 X 27.75 Inches
*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

Include Thumbnail(s)