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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Evening on the Lake

Key facts
Full title Evening on the Lake
Artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Artist dates 1796 - 1875
Date made about 1872
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 25.1 × 36.2 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2627
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Evening on the Lake
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

It is the end of the day, and a fishing boat heads into a secluded inlet, guided by a lone figure. To the right is a wooded promontory, the branches of the trees stretching out over the water. The sun’s last rays are caught by one or two of the clouds, but the overall light is pearly, and the blue sky fades to creams and pinks near the horizon. The gentle rippling of the water is rendered in long strokes of many colours, from greys, blues and purples to greens and pinks.

This work encapsulates Corot’s mature style. Characteristically, he painted the sky at a late stage, bringing it round and over the tree. Its branches, in a variety of browns and greens, are painted both under and on top of the sky paint. This picture was once in the collection of the leading British artist Frederic, Lord Leighton, who particularly admired Corot’s landscapes.

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