Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Seated Camaldolese Monk
graphite on paper
12 3/4 x 10 1/2 inches (32.4 x 26.7 cm)
Gift of Jill Newhouse.

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On his second voyage to Italy in the 1830s, Corot visited the monastery of Calmoldoli in the Tuscan hills near Arezzo, where he likely made this study of one of the hermitage's inhabitants, a treasurer of the order. The Calmoldolese monks wore distinctive white habits and lived in individual cells but enjoyed a communal life. The artist's sketchbook from 1834, now in the Louvre, contains numerous studies of monks. This sheet is exceptional for the precision and accuracy with which Corot recorded the monk's figure and habit. This accuracy allowed him to reprise the head in an 1840 painting of a monk, which he showed at the Salon (Louvre, Paris, RF 1609). He revisited the study in later years in painted depictions of seated monks, reading (for example, Louvre, Paris, RF 2604; Bührle Collection, Zurich, R 1332).

Jill Newhouse, New York.
Associated names: 

Newhouse, Jill, former owner.