Landscape at Arleux-du-Nord
In the collection of Corot’s friend, fellow-artist and biographer Alfred Robaut (1830–1909), Paris; in the collection of the dentist Dr Verdier6; with Galerie Jacques Dubourg, Paris, from whom bought by Arthur Tooth & Sons, London, in early 1936; sold by them to the stockbroker and patron of the arts Kenneth Levy (1897–1984), October 1936; Kenneth and Helena (1900–1990) Levy Bequest, 1990.
1. For a full discussion of materials and technique see article by S. Herring, ‘Six Paintings by Corot in the National Gallery: Methods, Materials and Sources’, National Gallery Technical Bulletin, 30, 2009.
2. See M. Pantazzi, V. Pomarède and G. Tinterow, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (1796-1875), exh. cat., Paris/ Ottawa/New York 1996–7, p. 266.
3. White, Pilc and Kirby 1998, p. 80.
4. For Corot’s work in northern France see D. Horbez, Corot et les peintres de l’école d’Arras, Tournai 2004.
5. R2018, height 46 cm, length 60 cm. This version was no. 54 in Exposition Corot 1796–1875, Galerie Schmit, Paris, 1971. Robaut cites two etchings after this version: one by Léon Gaucherel (1816-1886) (Galerie Durand-Ruel) and one by his pupil, Lucien Marcélin Gautier (1850–1925) (Keppel editions). A further example of their collaboration is Corot’s Souvenir d’Arleux du Nord (R2189), which was painted for Robaut. The latter, to help Corot, sketched the canvas with a drawing after one of his own sketches made in 1871. Corot painted his work over this preparation. Exhibited at the Salon of 1874 (no. 458), this also went from Robaut into the Verdier collection.
6. Verdier was a keen collector of Corot’s work, and owned at least 39 of his paintings. Writing of the period March 1873, Moreau-Nélaton states: ‘En même temps, il poursuivait sa besogne courante, pour satisfaire la nombreuse clientèle qui le harcelait: les Brame, les Tédesco, les Beugniet, les Durand-Ruel, les Breysse, les Weyl, les Audry, sans compter Cléophas et son neveu Surville, Oscar Simon, Hermann, le dentiste Verdier et le médecin Cambay.... M. Robaut lui même revendiquait sa part des chefs-d’oeuvre qu’il voyait éclore, quotidiennement, et Corot la lui abandonnait volontiers.’ Moreau-Nélaton in Robaut 1905, I, pp. 181–2. In this case Verdier did not acquire the painting from Corot, but from Robaut, possibly at Corot’s suggestion.