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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, The Roman Campagna, with the Claudian Aqueduct

Key facts
Full title The Roman Campagna, with the Claudian Aqueduct
Artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Artist dates 1796 - 1875
Date made probably 1826
Medium and support Oil on paper, laid on canvas
Dimensions 22.8 × 34 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Bought at the Degas sale (with a special grant), 1918
Inventory number NG3285
Location Room 42
Collection Main Collection
The Roman Campagna, with the Claudian Aqueduct
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

It is likely that Corot painted this small oil sketch on paper in the spring of 1826, a few months after beginning his first of three trips to Italy. He painted a number of views that included the Aqua Claudia, a Roman aqueduct, which you can see in the distance, around five kilometres south-east of Rome. The square tower almost in the centre of the picture is the Tor Fiscale, a medieval defence tower. The Alban Hills can be seen on the right, and the Monti Prenestini on the left. The River Almone flows in the mid-distance, behind the trees.

Corot used a limited range of colours to create an open sunlit landscape beneath a blue sky filled with bright cumulus clouds. Despite the picture’s very small size, he has created an effect of expansive space with very economical means, as areas of colour, laid down with thin paint, are given definition and scale by details such as the trees and architecture.

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