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A Wagon in the Plains of Artois
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
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This view, painted in May 1871, forms part of a group painted by Corot during his stay in north-east France during the spring and summer of 1871. On the horizon, just right of centre, stands a windmill, its sails visible against the sky. Windmills were an extremely common sight in the Pas de Calais region at this period. In the foreground is a horse, its head bowed, and the wagon from which this painting takes its name.

It was most probably Corot who added a layer of grey over the first, off-white preparatory layer applied by the makers of the canvas. He has left areas of it exposed, and in the sky it forms the darkest tones of the clouds. For the sky Corot used a thick blue paint mixed with white. Using long strokes which closely follow the line of the horizon, he covered several trees, the ghostly forms of which can still be seen through the paint.

Key facts
Artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Artist dates 1796 - 1875
Full title A Wagon in the Plains of Artois
Date made 1871
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 27.3 x 35.2 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2628
Location in Gallery Not on display
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