Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Bacchante by the Sea

Artist:
Camille Corot (French, Paris 1796–1875 Paris )
Date:
1865
Medium:
Oil on wood
Dimensions:
15 1/4 x 23 3/8 in. (38.7 x 59.4 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Accession Number:
29.100.19
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 803
This cabinet picture was almost certainly created to satisfy the growing market for Corot’s figure paintings in the 1860s. The figure lies on a leopard or tiger skin; the accessory is responsible for the nymph’s traditional identification as a follower of the Roman god of wine, Bacchus.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): COROT 1865
"M. Senateur du Midi" (received from the artist); Armand Frères (until 1891; sold in March to Bernheim-Jeune); [Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, from 1891]; ?comte Isaac de Camondo, Paris; Henri Vever, Paris (by 1895–97; his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, February 1–2, 1897, no. 23, as "Nymphe couchée au bord de la mer," for Fr 30,750, to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1897, stock no. 4037; sold on February 3, for Fr 31,500, to Havemeyer]; Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (1897–his d. 1907; consigned to Durand-Ruel, New York, January 19–February 14, 1898, deposit no. 5657); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (1907–d. 1929; cat., 1931, pp. 70–71, ill.)
Paris. Palais Galliéra. "Centenaire de Corot," May–June 1895, no. 139 (as "Nymphe au bord de la Mer," lent by M. Henri Vever, Paris).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 10–November 2, 1930, no. 16 [2nd ed., 1958, no. 69].

Paris. Musée de l'Orangerie. "Corot," 1936, no. 77 (as "Bacchante couchée au bord de la mer").

Musée de Lyon. "Exposition Corot," May 24–June 28, 1936, no. 82 (as "Bacchante couchée au bord de la mer").

Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Corot, 1796–1875," May 11–June 16, 1946, no. 42.

Brussels. Palais des Beaux-Arts. "La Femme dans l'art français," March 13–May 24, 1953, no. 22b.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Corot, 1796–1875," October 6–November 13, 1960, no. 96.

New York. Wildenstein. "Corot," October 30–December 6, 1969, no. 58.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Nudes in Landscapes: Four Centuries of a Tradition," May 18–August 5, 1973, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Barbizon: French Landscapes of the Nineteenth Century," February 4–May 10, 1992, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A106.

Paris. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. "Corot 1796–1875," February 27–May 27, 1996, no. 119.

Ottawa. National Gallery of Canada. "Corot 1796–1875," June 21–September 22, 1996, no. 119.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Corot," October 29, 1996–January 19, 1997, no. 119.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 11.

Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.

Paul Cornu. Corot. Paris, 1889, p. 71, calls it "Bacchante couchée".

Ethel Birnstingl and Alice Pollard. Corot. London, 1904, p. 170, call it "Nymph couchée au bord de la mer".

Alfred Robaut. L'Œuvre de Corot: Catalogue raisonné et illustré. [reprint 1965]. Paris, 1905, vol. 3, pp. 48–49, no. 1376, ill.; vol. 4, p. 293, calls it "Bacchante couchée au bord de la mer".

Julius Meier-Graefe. Corot und Courbet: Ein Beitrag zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Modernen Malerei. Leipzig, 1905, pp. 41–42 [English translation published in Ref. Meier-Graefe 1908; reprinted in Ref. Meier-Graefe 1913], states erroneously that Corot exhibited this picture and MMA 29.100.598 in 1865.

Émile Michel. Les artistes célèbres. Vol. 57, Corot. Paris, [1905], p. 28, calls it "Nymphe couchée au bord de la mer" and observes that it influenced later figure painting.

Étienne Moreau-Nélaton in Alfred Robaut. L'Œuvre de Corot: Catalogue raisonné et illustré. [reprint 1965]. Paris, 1905, vol. 1, p. 244 [reprinted in Ref. Moreau-Nélaton 1924].

Walther Gensel. Corot und Troyon. Bielefeld, 1906, p. 47, fig. 40.

Julius Meier-Graefe. Modern Art, Being a Contribution to a New System of Aesthetics. London, 1908, vol. 1, p. 171, calls it "Nymph Reclining on the Sea-shore".

Raymond Bouyer. "Corot, peintre de figures." Revue de l'art ancien et moderne 26 (October 1909), p. 302, ill., calls it "Bacchante couchée au bord de la mer".

Julius Meier-Graefe. Corot und Courbet. 2nd ed. Munich, 1912, ill. between pp. 46 and 47.

Julius Meier-Graefe. Camille Corot. 3rd ed. Munich, 1913, p. 46, ill. p. 127.

Karl Madsen. Corot og Hans Billeder, I Nordisk Eie. Copenhagen, 1920, ill. p. 64.

Étienne Moreau-Nélaton. Corot raconté par lui-même. 2nd rev. ed. (1st ed., 1905). Paris, 1924, vol. 2, p. 35, fig. 207, calls it "Bacchante au bord de la mer".

Arsène Alexandre. "La Collection Havemeyer: Courbet et Corot." La Renaissance 12 (June 1929), p. 281, ill. p. 278.

Harry B. Wehle. "The Exhibition of the H. O. Havemeyer Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 25 (March 1930), p. 56, ill.

"The H. O. Havemeyer Collection." Parnassus 2 (March 1930), p. 7, calls it "Bacchante by the Lake".

C. Bernheim de Villers. Corot: Peintre de figures. Paris, 1930, p. 59, no. 208, ill.

Julius Meier-Graefe. Corot. Berlin, 1930, pl. CIII.

Frank Jewett Mather Jr. "The Havemeyer Pictures." The Arts 16 (March 1930), p. 471, ill. p. 464, calls it "Bacchante".

H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, pp. 70–71, ill., calls it "Nude by the Sea".

Preface by Paul Jamot in Exposition Corot. Exh. cat., Musée de Lyon. Lyons, 1936, p. 38, no. 82, pl. XXIII.

Paul Jamot. Corot. Paris, 1936, ill. p. 26.

Preface by Paul Jamot in Corot. Exh. cat., Musée de l'Orangerie. [Paris], 1936, p. 39, no. 77.

Germain Bazin. "Corot et son œuvre." L'Amour de l'art 17 (February 1936), fig. 62.

Douglas Lord. "Corot." Burlington Magazine 68 (April 1936), p. 195, calls it "Bacchante couchée".

Henri Marceau. Corot 1796–1875. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1946, p. 37, no. 42, ill., calls it "Bacchante couchée au bord de la mer"; notes that it was painted in the studio with an invented background.

Jean Alazard. Corot. Milan, 1952, fig. 94, as "Bacchante Lying on the Sea-shore".

Daniel Baud-Bovy. Corot. Geneva, 1957, p. 171.

François Fosca. Corot, sa vie et son oeuvre. Brussels, 1958, ill. p. 134, calls it "Nymphe couchée au Bord de la Mer".

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The H. O. Havemeyer Collection. 2nd ed. New York, 1958, p. 14, no. 69.

Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, p. 59, ill., call it "A Bacchante by the Sea"; note that this picture and MMA 29.100.598 derive from Corot's "The Nymph of the Seine" (1837; R379; private collection); mention two variations of this composition: "Nymphe couchée dans la campagne" (R540; location unknown) and "Repose" (R1046; Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva).

Wayne Andersen. "Gauguin's Calvary of the Maiden." Art Quarterly 34, no. 1 (1971), p. 95, fig. 14, refers to the pose as a "nineteenth-century cliché".

Germain Bazin. Corot. 3rd rev. ed. (1st ed., 1942; 2nd ed., 1951). Paris, 1973, p. 270.

René Huyghe. La Relève de l'imaginaire. La Peinture française au XIXe siècle: Réalisme, romantisme. Paris, 1976, p. 271, fig. 286, compares it to Courbet's "Female Nude" (Philadelphia Museum of Art) and Giorgione's "Sleeping Venus" (Gemäldegalerie, Dresden).

Frances Weitzenhoffer. "The Creation of the Havemeyer Collection, 1875–1900." PhD diss., City University of New York, 1982, p. 291, fig. 99, states that Havemeyer commissioned Durand-Ruel to purchase this picture at the Vever sale.

Frances Weitzenhoffer. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York, 1986, pp. 126, 176, 255, pl. 78.

Antje Zimmermann. "Studien zum Figurenbild bei Corot." PhD diss., Universität Köln, 1986, pp. 109, 367, no. 120, notes parallels to Corot's other reclining figures in landscapes; attributes the inspiration for its pose and setting to Giorgione's "Sleeping Venus" (Gemãldegalerie, Dresden); compares it to Corot's "Young Women of Sparta" of 1868–70 (R1575; Brooklyn Museum of Art).

Jean Selz. La Vie et l'œuvre de Camille Corot. Paris, 1988, pp. 226, 281, ill. (color).

Jean Leymarie. Corot. 3rd ed. (1st ed., 1966). [Geneva], 1992, p. 144, ill. p. 147 (color) [English ed., 1979].

Susan Alyson Stein in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 221, colorpl. 207, fig. 106 (installation photograph of Exh. New York 1930).

Gary Tinterow in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 21.

Gretchen Wold in Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 308–9, no. A106, ill.

Gary Tinterow in Corot. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1996, pp. 267, 287–88, no. 119, ill. (color) [French ed., "Corot 1796–1875," Paris, 1996, pp. 328, 350–51, no. 119, ill. (color)], suggests that Corot created this work to supply a growing demand for his figure paintings; states that its composition was loosely based on "Le Repos" (R1277; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C.), on a reduced scale to make it suitable for a private collector.

Linda Nochlin. "Corot: le nu sans qualités." Corot, un artiste et son temps. Paris, 1998, p. 336, fig. 6, remarks that the leopard skin heightens the sensuality of the figure.

Charles Harrison. Painting the Difference: Sex and Spectator in Modern Art. Chicago, 2005, p. 65, fig. 42.

Gary Tinterow in The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 30, 195, no. 11, ill. (color and black and white).

Vincent Pomarède in The Secret Armoire: Corot's Figure Paintings and the World of Reading. Ed. Mariantonia Reinhard-Felice. Exh. cat., Collection Oskar Reinhart "Am Römerholz," Winterthur. Munich, 2011, p. 33 [German ed., "Corot. L'Armoire secrète: Eine Lesende im Kontext," Munich, 2011].



Corot painted about thirteen reclining nudes, beginning in 1837 with "The Nymph of the Seine" (private collection; Robaut 1905, no. 379). The Museum's painting derives from the composition of "Repose" (1860, reworked 1865–70; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington; Robaut no. 1277) (see Tinterow 1996).

Related pictures include "The Roman Odalisque (Marietta)" (1843; Musée du Petit Palais, Paris; Robaut no. 458), "Repose" (1857–59; Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva; Robaut no. 1046), and "Bacchante in a Landscape" (1865–70; MMA 29.100.598; Robaut no. 1377).
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