COROT Jean Baptiste Camille (Paris, 1796 ; Ville-d’Avray, 1875)
Volterra. Route descendant de la ville
toile (peinture à l’huile) H. 29 cm ; l. 39 cm
Signé en bas à gauche : \"COROT\" ; cachet de la vente Corot
legs Rouart Annie (testateur) (1993)
Corot went on his second trip to Italy in 1834. After Pisa, he headed further south in Tuscany to Volterra, where he stayed from June 22 to July 20. This Etruscan city perched on a rocky spur inspired many a composition. In this one, which stayed in the artist’s studio until his death and was acquired by the dealer Barbedienne after the posthumous sale (it later came into the possession of the painter and collector Henri Rouart), his subject is not the city but its surroundings. Taking up an elevated position, he looks down on the road where two figures are making their way toward the city, its presence indicated only by the bell tower of the cathedral, the dome of the baptistery and the roof of the Palazzo dei Priori. According to the catalogue raisonné drawn up by Alfred Robaut, Corot later used this study when preparing his composition for The Destruction of Sodom in 1843 (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art).