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Goatherd of Terni

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, French, 1796 - 1875

Made in France, Europe

c. 1871

Oil on canvas

32 3/8 x 24 5/8 inches (82.2 x 62.5 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Bequest of Charlotte Dorrance Wright, 1978

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From the 1850s through the end of his life, Corot increasingly relied on memories of his travels, inventing a new genre of poetic painting, his “souvenirs” of special places. He made this work some forty-five years after his initial visit to Terni, a city north of Rome. It could illustrate the final lines of Virgil’s Eclogues: “Get home, my full-fed goats, get home—the Evening Star draws on.”

Additional information:
  • PublicationMasterpieces from the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Impressionism and Modern Art

    Following a tradition among French landscape painters, Corot traveled to Italy in 1825 to study Italian Renaissance painting, but the greatest impact of this and subsequent trips was his discovery of the Italian countryside. He spent hours working outdoors, making landscape sketches and absorbing the atmosphere and light that would suffuse nearly all of his subsequent work. After 1843, Corot worked exclusively in his native France, drawing on his open-air studies and memories of Italy to create imaginative landscapes that evoke a mood rather than a specific view. Peopled with shepherds, dancing nymphs, and bathers, these paintings have a timeless, lyrical quality. Goatherd of Terni, with its sketchiness and loose brushwork, is a hazy recollection of a ravine landscape north of Rome. A master of tonal relationships, Corot worked with a limited palette of muddy colors to suggest the depth and shadows of the ravine, while dabs of yellow and orange paint floating on the surface convey the effects of the rising sun. Although Corot did not approve of Impressionist painting, his poetic landscapes and free paint handling caused the next generation of painters to regard him as a father figure. Jennifer A. Thompson, from Masterpieces from the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Impressionism and Modern Art (2007), p. 38.


Docteur Dieulafoy, 1875 [1]. With Howard Young Galleries, New York, as of April 1930 [2]. With Scott and Fowles, New York; sold to Charlotte Dorrance Wright (1911-1977) and William Coxe Wright (d. 1970), St. Davids, PA, July 17, 1952, until his d. 1970 [3]; Charlotte Dorrance Wright; bequest to PMA, 1978. 1. Paris, L'Ecole nationale des Beaux-Arts, "Exposition de l'oeuvre de Corot," May 1875, no. 165 [as 'Le Rocher d'Etretat']. In Robaut's catalogue raisonné of 1905, Dieulafoy is listed as the owner. Probably Paul Georges Dieulafoy (1839-1911), a prominent doctor and a collector of Corot. 2. The Frick photoarchives mount (517-1 F3) gives the Howard Young Galleries date as April 1930 and has the notation "F.S. Sarastano 8387." See also A. Frankfurter, "Masterpieces of Landscape Painting in American Collections," The Fine Arts, December 1931, color illustration, p. 33, as the collection of Mr. Howard Young, New York. 3. Information from 1977 Dorrance Wright estate inventory by Carroll Hogan (registrar file).