Site in Italy

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875)
Oil on canvas 
21-1/4 x 32 in. (54 x 81.3 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation, Gift of Donald Ellis Simon 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
Not on View

Corot lived in Italy from 1825 to 1828 but painted this picture over a decade later, back in Paris, from memory and imagination. He turned for inspiration (and competition) to the seventeenth-century master Claude Lorrain, father of French classical landscape, who had spent his career in Italy. With its goatherd and flock, its trees, water, and distant citadel all bathed in golden light, this picture is among the most compelling products of Corot’s engagement with Claude. He likely exhibited it at the Salon of 1839, and although his own style took a more distinctive, modern turn in the 1840s, he remained true to the old master’s methods, continuing to work from memory and imagination.


Madame Jessé, Versailles, 1876.
Louis Sarlin, Paris, by 1910 (sale, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 2 March 1918, lot 8, ill., as Lac d'Italie, signed lower right; sale did not take place, sold en bloc to;)
Wilhelm Hansen, Copenhagen;
[Georges Bernheim et Cie, Paris, by 1928].
?[Paul Rosenberg, Paris].
Alphonse Kann (1868-1948), Saint Germain-en-Laye.
[Arthur Tooth & Sons, London, sold May, 1963 to;]
[E.V. Thaw & Co., New York, sold 8 July 1963 to;]
Donald Ellis Simon, Los Angeles, gift 1971 to;
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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