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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, The Seine near Rouen

Key facts
Full title The Seine near Rouen
Artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Artist dates 1796 - 1875
Date made probably 1829-33
Medium and support Oil on paper laid on canvas
Dimensions 20.3 × 34.3 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by the Art Fund, 1926
Inventory number NG4181
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Seine near Rouen
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Corot painted this view of the landscape and river Seine west of Rouen from the top of the Tour du Gros Horloge, a popular viewing platform in the city for the vistas it afforded of the surrounding countryside. The island just visible at the far left is the Ile Rollet, which is now connected to the left bank of the mainland. It is a quiet, overcast scene, and the tonality is cool throughout. The steely clouds in the sky are reflected in the grey of the water, the landscape itself depicted in a limited range of greens.

There is an earlier composition underneath the present one, depicting long curving tree trunks, two arches of a bridge and wooded hills in the distance. While the underlying scene has yet to be definitively identified, it could have been painted either during Corot’s first trip to Italy in 1825–8 or during his travels around France.

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