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Study for “Souvenir de Mortefontaine”

Charcoal drawing with trees reflected in body of water

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796–1875)
Study for “Souvenir de Mortefontaine,” ca. 1864
Charcoal with brown chalk and stumping on paper 
9 3/16 x 12 11/16 in. (23.4 x 32.2 cm)
Purchased with a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Roswell L. Gilpatric, 1994

In this preparatory drawing, Corot formulates the composition of one of his most celebrated landscapes, a painting in the Louvre that presents a nostalgic recollection, or reminiscence, of the village of Mortefontaine. With an emphatic contour line, he establishes the overall shape of the mass of trees in the mid-ground and its vivid reflection in the water.