The Roman Campagna, with the Claudian Aqueduct

The sketch is one of the open-air studies produced by Corot during his stay in Rome in 1825-8. It was bought by Degas in 1899 and acquired by the National Gallery at the Degas sale in 1918. Executed in oil on paper, the painting is noteworthy for the freedom and spontaneity of its handling, a forerunner of the open-air sketches that Corot was to produce in the years after his return to France, like the Seine near Rouen of about 1830-5.

A morning scene, the painting shows the Alban Hills and the aqueduct of the Aqua Felice with a medieval tower in the centre. To the right and left are the arched ruins of the Aqua Claudia. The dense shadows contrast with the otherwise sunlit landscape.

Key facts

Artist dates
1796 - 1875
Full title
The Roman Campagna, with the Claudian Aqueduct
Date made
probably 1826
Medium and support
Oil on paper, laid on canvas
22.8 x 34 cm
Inscription summary
Acquisition credit
Bought at the Degas sale (with a special grant), 1918
Inventory number
Location in Gallery