Castel Gandolfo, named after the family that fortified the town in the thirteenth century, lies above Lake Albano, sixteen miles southeast of Rome. It has served as the summer residence of the popes since 1604. The papal palace and dome of San Tommaso da Villanova, a church designed by Bernini and built in 1661, dominate this view. It was painted during Corot’s first of three visits to Italy.
Inscription: Stamped (lower left): VENTE / COROT
the artist, Paris (until d. 1875; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, première partie, May 26–28, 1875, no. 9, as "Au lac d'Albano" and dated 1825–28, for Fr 205 to Robaut); Alfred Robaut, Paris (from 1875); Dutilleux; Paul Arthur Chéramy, Paris (by 1905–13; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 15–16, 1913, no. 14, for Fr 1,700 to Kelekian); Dikran Khan Kelekian, Paris and New York (1913–22; his sale, American Art Association, New York, January 30–31, 1922, no. 119, bought in)
Brooklyn Museum. "Paintings by Modern French Masters, Representing the Post Impressionists and Their Predecessors," March 26–April 25, 1921, no. 42 (as "Lake Albano," lent by D. G. Kelekian).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscape Paintings," May 14–September 30, 1934, no. 35 (as "Lake Albano and Castel Gandolfo").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscapes by French Artists, 1780–1880," November 17, 1987–February 14, 1988, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Barbizon: French Landscapes of the Nineteenth Century," February 4–May 10, 1992, no catalogue.
Madrid. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. "Corot: Naturaleza, Emoción, Recuerdo," June 7–September 11, 2005, no. 18.
Ferrara. Palazzo dei Diamanti. "Corot: Naturaleza, Emoción, Recuerdo," October 9, 2005–January 8, 2006, no. 18.
Alfred Robaut. L'Œuvre de Corot: Catalogue raisonné et illustré. [reprint 1965]. Paris, 1905, vol. 2, pp. 58–59, no. 160, ill., calls it "Le Lac d'Albano et Castel-Gandolfo" and dates it 1826–27; states that he paid Fr 205 for this picture at the artist's posthumous sale in 1875.
Arsène Alexandre. Collection Kélékian: Tableaux de l'école française moderne. Paris, 1920, p. 8, pl. 13, calls it "Vue d'Albano" in the text and "Le lac Albano, à Castel Gandolfo" in the caption.
Harry B. Wehle. "Hagar in the Wilderness by Corot." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 33 (November 1938), p. 248.
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. 47, ill., note that Corot painted at Lake Albano in November 1826 and the summer of 1827, calling this picture an example of the "first manner".
Peter Galassi. Corot in Italy: Open-Air Painting and the Classical-Landscape Tradition. New Haven, 1991, pp. 115–16, pl. 136, dates it 1826–28 and comments that it evokes the classical ideal.
Albert Kostenevich. Hidden Treasures Revealed: Impressionist Masterpieces and Other Important French Paintings Preserved by the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Exh. cat.New York, 1995, p. 24, dates it 1826–28.
Vincent Pomarède inCorot. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1996, p. 23 n. 101, fig. 14 [French ed., "Corot 1796–1875," Paris, 1996, p. 67 n. 106, ill. p. 61].
Vincent Pomarède inCorot: Naturaleza, Emoción, Recuerdo. Ed. Vincent Pomarède. Exh. cat., Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, 2005, pp. 304, 397, no. 18, ill. p. 150 (color), dates it about 1826–27.