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Chastanier, Portrait of Corot, 1872-1873.

Regular price
€2.200,00 EUR
Regular price
Sale price
€2.200,00 EUR


The only photo of Camille Corot at work in his studio


Orsague Chastanier.  

Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (1796-1875). 

Paris, Orsague Chastanier, [1872-1873]. 


Albumen print on paper (9 x 5,5 cm.), mounted on cardboard (10,5 x 6,5) cm., with letterpress tekst on verso: Photographie sur émail et albumine / Mon. Orsague Chastanier / bustes, groupe de famille, cartes / reproductions d’anciens portraits / Tableaux / 18 Rue de l’Odéon 18/ Paris. 


Very rare portrait photograph of landscape painter Camille Corot at work in his studio, printed as a carte-de-visite by Orsague Chastanier. The Corot oeuvre catalogue lists 31 portrait photographs of Corot, including the present one, but we did not trace any print of it in international public collections. It is the only known picture of him in his studio. Amongst the known photographs of Corot are at least four of him working en-plain-air, including a well-known picture by Charles Desavary that shows Corot painting outside under an umbrella at Saint-Nicolas-les-Arras (published in Exposition de l’oeuvre de Corot: a l’École nationale des beaux-arts, Paris, 1875). While in Arras, Corot and Desavary experimented with photography and late in his life, Corot posed for a series of portraits by Desavary, as though he was painting plein-air, sitting at a canvas under a white umbrella in his garden. He did this because it was important for Corot to be perceived as a landscape painter who worked outside, which was highly innovative at that time. However, the present photograph shows him in his studio, working on a painting that sits on an easel. Two larger pictures on easels stand behind it and, interestingly, the walls are covered with overlapping unframed paintings. Perhaps oil sketches on paper made outside? 

Condition: yellowed (as usual with albumen), margins slightly soiled. Otherwise in very good condition. 

Reference: Alfred Robaut, L'oeuvre de Corot, vol. IV, Paris, 1905, p. 323, no. CIV: “Corot est assis de profil dans son atelier, devant son chevalet, la tête coiffée d’un bonnet. Il est vétu d’un veston gris. Autour de lui, plusieurs tableaux sur des chevalets.” 


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