Washerwomen in a Willow Grove

Corot visited the countryside near the small French town of Arras frequently, though he confessed that its flat terrain had “the reputation for not being very suitable for painters.” The landscape inspired images like this one, which shows washerwomen laying fabric on the grass to dry and bleach in the sun. Rustic laborers had essentially disappeared from the region by 1871, but the subject may have held nostalgic appeal for the artist’s urban patrons.

Provenance

Bollet; Émile Dehau (until 1885, his sale, Drouot, Paris, 21 Mar. 1885, no. 12, as Les prairies de Sainte-Catherine, a Arras); Tabourier (in 1889); Henri Heugel (possibly by 1895–1905, his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 26 May 1905, no. 3, ill., as Paysage d’Artois, sold to Boussod, Valadon);¹ [Boussod, Valadon, Paris, from 1905]; Count Cecil Charles Pecci-Blunt, Paris, on consignment to Seligmann (in Nov. 1940); [Jacques Seligmann, New York, sold to Clark, 2 Jan. 1941, as Paysage d’Artois]; Robert Sterling Clark (1941–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.

1. The Clark copy of sale catalogue is annotated “Boussod c/ Bernheim jeune.”

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

French, 1796–1875

Washerwomen in a Willow Grove

1871

Oil on canvas

15 x 18 3/16 in. (38.1 x 46.2 cm) Frame: 22 1/8 x 25 1/8 x 1 1/2 in. (56.2 x 63.8 x 3.8 cm)


Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1941

1955.526


OFF VIEW