Cour de ferme dans le Limousin signed 'COROT' (lower right) oil on canvas 24.6 x 32.5cm (9 11/16 x 12 13/16in).
PROVENANCE: with Thomas Colville Fine Art Ltd., New Haven, CT Private collection, USA, since 2004
LITERATURE: Jean Dieterle, Corot: troisième supplément à l'uvre de Corot par A. Robaut et Moreau-Nélaton, Éditions Floury, Quatre Chemins-Éditart, Paris, 1974, no.14
The present lot was painted in the late 1840s and demonstrates Corot's plein air technique with its heavy use of black in the shadows and subtle palette. Corot repeatedly returned to the subject of the farmyard with figures working in the foreground and works such as Cour d'une boulangerie près de Paris, (circa 1865-1870, Paris, Musée d'Orsay) are similar in their focus on the house which fills the composition and the figure and chickens in the foreground. The robust direct handling belongs more to Corot's early innovations in plein air painting than the later developments which were influenced by photography and took on a more silvery tone with a narrow range of colour.