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Site in Italy, 1839

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot

French, 1796-1875
Oil on canvas
21-1/4 x 32 in. (54 x 81.3 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation, Gift of Donald Ellis Simon
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

In the late 1830s and 1840s Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot made a series of landscapes incorporating the methods of his seventeenth-century predecessors Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. Site in Italy is a superb example of the absorption of these techniques. The painting's darkness, broken only by the hazy glow of dawn, the shepherd and his companion, and the fine touch of Corot's brush evoke an idealized pastoral directly reminiscent of his classical predecessors. Incorporating the methods of Claude and Poussin ultimately led Corot to create the more modernized lyrical landscapes of the 1850s and 1860s that brought him his greatest critical success.

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