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    Description

    JEAN-BAPTISTE-CAMILLE COROT (French, 1796-1875)
    Le Vallon des Chevres (Souvenir du Lac de Garde), circa 1872
    Oil on panel
    14 x 10-5/8 inches (35.6 x 26.9 cm)
    Signed lower left: COROT
    Lefranc freres panel (stamp verso)

    THE PROPERTY OF A LADY

    PROVENANCE:
    Sold by the artist immediately upon its completion in Arras, France, to Pierre-Firmin Martin (one of Corot's dealers);
    sale Martin and Paschal, March 15, 1880;
    Purchased by noted bookseller and publisher Harris Brisbane Dick (d. 1916) of New York from Knoedler and Co., New York, by 1917;
    Purchased by Jessie Storms Foote on Jan. 15, 1920 from the H. B. Dick Collection, American Art Institute Sale at the Plaza Hotel, New York;
    Gift by Jessie Storms Foote to Jessie Anne Lennan, 1943;
    Private collection, Tenafly, New Jersey, 1943-65, and New Iberia, Louisiana, 1962-2012.

    LITERATURE:
    Alfred Robaut, L' Oeuvre de Corot Catalogue Raisonné, et illustre, Vol. III, Paris, H. Floury, 1905, no. 2377, p. 370; ill. p. 371.

    This beautifully preserved late work on panel by Corot has been displayed and enjoyed in the same private collection for the past 69 years. Early in the 20th century, the silvery landscape formed part of the private New York art collection of Harris Brisbane Dick, head of the book publishing firm of Dick & Fitzgerald, which was begun by his father in 1858 but which H. B. Dick greatly expanded. Upon his death in 1916, Harris Brisbane Dick donated an extremely valuable collection of artworks to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, including a large group of Whistler etchings which, together with Dürers donated by Junius Spencer Morgan in 1919, became the basis of the Met's enormous print collection. In his will, Dick also bequeathed nearly $1,000,000, to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the purchase of paintings. Dick, who had lived at the Park Avenue Hotel for many years and died while on a business trip to Boston, had no relatives nearer than cousins. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in effect, became his primary beneficiary.

    Corot most probably painted this delicate windswept landscape of a goatherd with goats during the summer of 1872 when, as was his practice, he left Paris to travel at a feverish pace around the rural countryside painting "souvenirs" of the local landscape. His faithful biographer, Alfred Robaut, who kept track of Corot's restless painterly wanderings, recorded that the artist left Paris in mid-April; was in Beauvais from the 15th to the 27th; and remained from the 1st to the 20th of May in Ville-d'Avray. From May 20 to 28 he was in the Ardennes at Fumay, and spent June in Coubron. He spent July 1 through 8 with Robaut in Douai, and stayed with his brother-in-law Desavary at Arras, where the present work was doubtless painted, between July 8 and 12.

    Le Vallon des Chevres contains a single flash of bright red in the cap of the goatherd, which became a trademark of Corot's. 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).





    Condition Report*: Under UV examination there is no evidence of any conservation or restoration whatsoever. It is in entirely original condition. There are scattered abrasions on the extreme edges and corners, quite probably stemming from frame abrasion. There is light surface grime, and a spot of accretion at the edge of a branch on the lefthand tree. Older varnish. The frame was acquired with the painting by the current owner 69 years ago and quite probably dates from the turn of the century. Framed Dimensions 22.75 X 19.25 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. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2012
    15th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,959

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