Landscape with Lake and Boatman
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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
French, 1839
Oil on canvas
24 5/8 x 40 1/2 in.

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After a long day, a solitary boatman poles his boat ashore across the water's placid surface. An array of colors--citron, lavender, turquoise, and rose--fills the sky as the sun slowly sets. Light reflects against the trees, turning the edges and foliage yellow-orange; the pool of water shimmers with reflections. The dramatically colored backlighting and the tiny, lone man create a sense of melancholy and longing that appealed to the Romantic critics of the time.

Composing from memories and from drawings made during his travels in Italy, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot painted this view for the Paris Salon of 1839. It may be a pendant to Italian Landscape, which he painted the same year. Until they were offered to the Getty Museum in 1984, scholars thought both paintings were lost. The two paintings depict ideal Italian views that contrast different times of day, emulating the works of Corot's seventeenth-century countryman Claude Lorrain.

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