Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Environs of Rome, an etching

Italy, AD 1866

Corot (1796-1875) is more famous for his soft, evocative landscape paintings than for his prints. He did not take easily to printmaking, finding the process restrictive. Nevertheless he made a group of etchings, fifteen transfer lithographs between 1871 and his death, and many 'cliché-verre' prints (produced by scratching through an opaque ground on a glass plate, and printing the result on sensitised paper as if from a photographic negative). Such prints were popular with the artists of the Barbizon school, with whom Corot was associated. This scratchy method prepared Corot for etching.

This Italianate landscape, typically, is given no specific location; Corot was always more interested in tone than in identifiable detail. Corot made three trips to Italy (1825-28, 1834 and 1843), and the memory of it coloured much of his subsequent work. Shown here is the first state of the etching, which has suggestions of two figures near the foot of the foreground trees. These are all but obliterated when he revised the plate in the second state.

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More information


P. Goldman, The shadow of the forest: prin, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1993)

P. Galassi, Corot in Italy (New Haven and London, 1991)


Height: 290.000 mm
Width: 213.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1871-8-12-724



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