Corot based this painting on sketches made in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just south of Paris, where he had worked since the 1820s. The artist reworked his sketches into a carefully structured composition, with the horizontals of foreground and background balanced by the verticals of trees, and...
Corot based this painting on sketches made in the Forest of Fontainebleau, just south of Paris, where he had worked since the 1820s. The artist reworked his sketches into a carefully structured composition, with the horizontals of foreground and background balanced by the verticals of trees, and the cows positioned to mark recession into space. Nevertheless, the acceptance of this work for the Salon of 1846 was a landmark event in the history of French landscape painting, for it depicts an ordinary, easily recognized local site without the "justification" of a noble human subject.
Lower left: COROT
February 5-6, 1872, contributed by the artist to the Auguste Anastasi sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris [see note 1], lot 26, sold to Alfred Robaut (b. 1830 - d. 1909), Paris [see note 2]; 1878, still with Robaut [see note 3]; possibly sold by Robaut to Louis Latouche; sold by Latouche to Ferdinand Barbédienne (b. 1810 - d. 1892), Paris [see note 4]; 1881, sold by Barbédienne to Thomas Robinson for Seth Morton Vose (b. 1831 - d. 1910) [see note 5]; by 1884, sold by Vose to Beriah Wall, Providence, RI [see note 6]; March 30 - April 1, 1886, Wall sale, American Art Galleries, New York, lot 263, to Seth Morton Vose for Susan Cornelia Clarke (Mrs. Samuel Dennis) Warren (b. 1825 - d. 1901), Boston; 1890, gift of Mrs. Samuel Dennis Warren to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 2, 1890) NOTES:  Several artists contributed works of art to this auction to raise money for the painter Auguste Anastasi (b. 1820 - d. 1889), who had become blind.  Alfred Robaut, "L'oeuvre de Corot, catalogue raisonné et illustré" (Paris, 1905), cat. no. 502.  He lent the painting to Durand-Ruel in 1878; see Robaut (as above, n. 2).  Louis Latouche's part in these transactions was suggested by Robert Vose in a letter to Charles Cunningham of the MFA (November 9, 1937; in MFA curatorial file); also see Achille Oudinot's comments in the "Catalogue of the Private Collections of Modern Paintings belonging to Mr. Beriah Wall and John A. Brown," American Art Galleries, March 30 - April 1, 1886, p. 93.  See "Catalogue of the Private Collections of ... Beriah Wall and John A. Brown" (as above, n. 4), p. 93 and the letter from Robert Vose (as above, n. 4). Vose had the painting imported to the United States. The date of the sale is recorded in notes in the MFA curatorial file.  It was in his possession by 1884; see the "Illustrated Catalogue of the Art Collection of Beriah Wall, Providence, R. I." (Providence, 1884), cat. no. 27.
Gift of Mrs. Samuel Dennis Warren