Corot, Jean-Baptiste Camille
French painter (1796-1875). 3 autograph letters signed ("C. Corot"). Paris. 8vo. Altogether 3½ pp. Together with a letter by the politician Hippolyte Chauchard in connection with Corot's letters.
$ 3,794 / 3.500 €
Interesting correspondence with the mayor of Langres, Pierre Durand, concerning a possible loan of Corot's painting "Christ on the Mount of Olives" (1849) from the Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Langres for the Exposition Universelle in 1867. In the earliest letter from 25 November 1866, Corot politely requests his painting for the important exhibition in Paris: "Je vous prierois de m'accorder, pour mettre à l'Exposition universelle de peinture, le tableau (Le Christ au jardin des oliviers) que vous avez de moi, dans le musée de votre ville [...]".
Durand drafted his response directly on Corot's letter, agreeing to the loan under the condition that all expenses are paid. He adds that "the museum would be honoured to receive a new canvas from him". On 25 December 1866, Corot informs Durand that the painting is not eligible for the exhibition, as it was painted before 1855, and expresses his regrets that he will not be able to present it to a wider audience: "J'ai bien à vous remercier de la bonté avec laquelle vous m'avez accordé votre tableau du Christ. Je vous dirai avec regret que le tableau étant fait avant l'année 1855, il ne pouvait être exposé à cette Exposition universelle. J'en suis bien fâché, j'aurais été heureux de pouvoir le montrer au public [...]". Judging from the curious final letter, dated 23 February 1867, Corot probably forgot that the he had already informed Durand about the exhibition policy that rendered the loan unnecessary: "I am afraid I forgot to inform you that the exhibition rules would not allow for my Christ to be shown, as it was made too long ago (1849) [...]" (transl.). - Hippolyte Chauchard, then a member of parliament for the Haute-Marne department, wrote to Pierre Durand on 5 December 1866 in support of Corot's request for the loan. Interestingly, he adds that the painting was originally intended for the Musée du Luxembourg and that Corot "cried tears of blood" when it was finally placed in the museum in Langres (La Ferté, 5 December 1866). - The 1867 Exposition Universelle in Paris was highly successful for Corot. He showed seven important paintings, received a medal, and was subsequently promoted officer of the Légion d'honneur. - All letters with several pinholes in the lower left corner. Some browning overall with traces of folds..