Le Repos du Vacher au Pied des Fraiches Collines
(Cowherd Resting at the Foot of Cool Hills), c. 1855-65
Oil on canvas
19 3/4 x 241/8 in.
Aaron M. and Clara Weitzenhoffer Bequest, 2000
This poetic landscape is typical of Corot's late, atmospheric style, with the common motifs of hills, water, and trees with diaphanous foliage all depicted in a limited color range of greys mixed with greens, ochres, and whites.
The painting does not represent an actual site, but the round tower is reminiscent of a castle overlooking the Lake of Nemi. This famous lake near Rome in the Alban Hills had classical associations and had been a popular subject for landscape painters since the seventeenth century. Corot, himself, had painted the site during visits to Italy.
A master of light, Corot made a great impact on artists of the Impressionist generation such as Monet and Pissarro.