Corot, etching, Environs de Rome

P. 314 x 236 mm;  S. 501 x 340 mm

Environs de Rome

Robaut 3128, Delteil 6, Melot 6

etching, 1866, on medium-heavy ivory laid paper with the Aquafortistes watermark, the rare 1st state (of 3)*, annotated in pencil by H. M.Petiet ("LD6 - 1er état avantl", bottom margin) a superb and rich impression before letters, with full margins, before the first edition of the Société des Aquafortistes in 1866, two short tears (8 mm) in the extreme right margin, some slight soiling in the margins, slight mat staining  and traces of old glue in each corner on the reverse, otherwise in excellent condition


Provenance: the Henri M. Petiet collection, with the HMP wetstamp on the reverse (not cited in Lugt)

This masterful etching contains all of Corot's artistic predilections, including the dark foreground with a sombre copse of trees that serves to frame the city afar, all set against a dusky sky.

Corot's etching was graphically complete in this first state; he seemed to know unerringly the effects that he was seeking.  Later states only concern the lettering and certain reworked features, due to the numerous reprintings of the plate, which is one of the reasons that this impression is such high quality.

* According to Melot, there were only a few "rare proofs" ("rares épreuves") pulled of this first state.