Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, “Ville d’Avray,” circa 1860-65, oil on canvas, 32 x 40 cm.

In this ongoing series for Fine Art Today, we take a longer look at the history and features of a soon-to-be-available artwork of note. This week we feature a remarkable landscape by this 19th-century French century master.

Hampel Fine Art Auctions in Munich, Germany, will soon be offering up a fantastic landscape by French painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875). Heading to the block on July 5, “Ville d’Avray” is a mature work by Corot and displays the artist’s characteristic softness and restricted color. “In his late studio landscapes” the National Gallery, London, writes, “which were often peopled with bathers, bacchantes and allegorical figures, he employed a small range of colors, often using soft colored greys and blue-greens, with spots of color confined to the clothing of figures. Topographical detail was suppressed in favor of mood and atmosphere, above all in his ‘souvenirs’, which were based on memories of real landscapes.”

A large sweeping diagonal dominates the composition in “Ville d’Avray.” In the foreground, the viewer discovers a pair of cattle, followed by two peasant workers to the right. Up the diagonal hill is the modest home of the workers. Other details in the landscape beyond — as it winds its way into the distance — are difficult to identify, but the sense of atmosphere, simplicity, and mood is remarkable. Cool gray and blue tones in the overcast sky also heighten these perceptions. Auction estimates are about $80,000.

To learn more, visit Live Auctioneers.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.


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