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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, 'Avignon from the West', 1836

Key facts
Full title Avignon from the West
Artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Artist dates 1796 - 1875
Date made 1836
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 34 × 73.2 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Sir Hugh Lane Bequest, 1917, The National Gallery, London. In partnership with Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin.
Inventory number NG3237
Location On loan: Long Loan to The Hugh Lane (2019 - 2026) (Group B), Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin, Ireland
Collection Main Collection
Avignon from the West
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

This panoramic view of the medieval city of Avignon in the south of France most likely dates from a visit Corot made in July 1836. We are looking at Avignon from the small town of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, on the opposite side of the Rhône.

The luminosity of this oil study is similar to outdoor oil sketches Corot made during his first visit to Italy from 1825 to 1828. As in those sketches, Corot uses horizontal bands of light and dark tones and blocks of carefully modulated colour, which he places next to each other. It is possible to identify a number of the landmarks in Avignon, including the Papal Palace in the centre of the picture, as well as the remains of the famous bridge on the left. However, Corot is more interested in the overall effect of the composition as a harmoniously balanced arrangement of colours and tones.

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