Campagne Romaine –Vallée rocheuse avec un troupeau de Porcs
(Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot)


From his arrival in 1826 until he left in 1828, Corot traveled widely in the Roman campagna making drawings and plein-air oil sketches. Little is known of his precise itineraries, although the lack of any record in much of 1827-28 from his fellow artists living there would suggest he had traveled beyond Rome for an extended period. ‘The warmth of the (Roman) climate (…. which) endows all the vegetation with a character of vigor that one does not find in Northern countries; the earth has a warmer color, the rocks stand out forcefully, the greens there are darker and more varied, the skies bluer and the clouds more colorful’ as Valenciennes wrote immediately appealed to the young Corot. Indeed, these qualities found an immediate echo in the views and studies he produced during his Italian sojourn. Corot wrote home of being awoken every morning ‘by a blaze of sunlight that strikes the wall of my room. In short the weather is always beautiful. On the other hand, I find this brilliant sunlight dispiriting. I feel the complete impotence of my palette’.

This small view was probably painted on the occasion of an outing in the vicinity of Narni, or possibly Orte, where Corot painted several views at this time. It was on these journeys into the Campagna that the artist evolved one of his most important contributions to the technique of landscape painting, by avoiding a detailed examination and instead presenting the foreground through painted analysis of the light and color values. The artist understood that an observer of a distant view did not see what was actually at his feet, as the young Théodore Rousseau observed in 1830. This is particularly evident here, with the sketchy foreground contrasting with the more carefully articulated distant view across the river curling towards a distant hill-top village. The painting was almost certainly one of the several oil sketches made on canvas at this time, but unlike those which remained in his studio (and were subsequently included in the studio Vente), he came back to this work at the time of his third Roman trip, in order to complete the painting for the market. A technical examination of the work suggests that the artist completed the tree on the right-side of the copse at left, and also worked-up the sky to its present, more finished appearance.


11 ¼ x 17 3/4 ins. 28.5 x 45 cm.
Oil on canvas

Anon. sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 12 May 1896, no. 32.

Unknown, France.

Christie’s, New York, 1 May 2000, lot 202

Private collection, London


Alfred Robault, editor, L’’oeuvre de Corot, catalogue raisonné et illustré, Floury, Paris, 1965, volume II, pp. 92, cat. no. 259 (illustrated);

this work will appear in the forthcoming supplement to the catalogue raisonné of the works of J.B.C. Corot by Martin Dieterle;

Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Collector’s Exhibition 2016, 2016, pp. 10-11.


Matthiesen Gallery & Stair Sainty Matthiesen, ‘Spring Catalogue’, 21

Where is It?
acquired through the Matthiesen Gallery by a private collector in Germany
Historical Period
Romanticism - 1810-1870
2001-European Paintings-From 1600-1917.
Baroque, Rococo, Romanticism, Realism, Futurism.

(Click on image above)
Price band
Sold or not available