Ville-d’Avray, a town on the outskirts of Paris where Corot’s family had owned a house and property since 1817, was among the artist's favorite motifs. This work is one of several paintings of the property's pond seen through a delicate screen of trees that he made in his later years. The silvery, cool tonality may have been influenced by Corot’s study of the contemporary medium of photography. The blurred appearance of the trees in the foreground, for example, is similar to the effect of foliage in motion as captured in nineteenth-century photographs.
Inscription: Signed (lower left): COROT
Van Praet (probably Jules van Praet, Brussels); Henri Vever, Paris; Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher, New York (until his d. 1917)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Mr. & Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher Collection," March 4–?, 1918, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscape Paintings," May 14–September 30, 1934, no. 38 (as "Ville d'Avray").
Hempstead, N. Y. Hofstra College. "Metropolitan Museum Masterpieces," June 26–September 1, 1952, no. 33 (as "Woman Gathering Faggots").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, not in catalogue.
Naples. Museo di Capodimonte. "Capolavori Impressionisti dei Musei Americani," December 3, 1986–February 1, 1987, no. 11.
Milan. Pinacoteca di Brera. "Capolavori Impressionisti dei Musei Americani," March 4–May 10, 1987, no. 11.
Leningrad [St. Petersburg]. State Hermitage Museum. "From Delacroix to Matisse," March 15–May 10, 1988, no. 7.
Moscow. Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts. "From Delacroix to Matisse," June 10–July 30, 1988, no. 7.
Yokohama Museum of Art. "Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century," March 25–June 4, 1989, no. 80 (as "Woman Gathering Faggots at Ville d'Avray").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Barbizon: French Landscapes of the Nineteenth Century," February 4–May 10, 1992, no catalogue.
Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne," June 23–November 12, 2006, no. 39.
Barcelona. Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. "Grandes maestros de la pintura europea de The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nueva York: De El Greco a Cézanne," December 1, 2006–March 4, 2007, no. 31.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.
Isaac D. Fletcher. Letter to Mrs. Henry Hornblower. May 1, 1899 [see Ref. Sterling and Salinger 1966, p. 68], relates that Carolus-Durand [sic] admired this painting.
Ethel Birnstingl and Alice Pollard. Corot. London, 1904, p. 172, call it "Ramasseuse de fagôts, Ville d'Avray".
Alfred Robaut. L'Œuvre de Corot: Catalogue raisonné et illustré. [reprint 1965]. Paris, 1905, vol. 3, pp. 276–77, no. 2097, ill., calls it "Ville-d'Avray—Rive boisée de l'étang avec une femme ramassant un fagot" and dates it 1871–74.
Maurice Hamel. Corot et son œuvre. Paris, 1905, vol. 2, pl. 87, calls it "Ramasseuse de fagots".
Eliot Clark. "The Fletcher Collection at the Metropolitan Museum: The Landscapes." Art World and Arts & Decoration 9 (August 1918), p. 209, calls it "Ville d'Avray".
"The Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 13 (March 1918), p. 60, notes the similarity of its subject and date to "Ville-d'Avray" (MMA 87.15.141).
François Fosca. Corot, 1796–1875. Paris, 1930, pl. 93, calls it "Ramasseuse de fagots".
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, pp. 68–69, ill., call it "Woman Gathering Faggots at Ville d'Avray" and comment that it "is remarkable for its precise drawing and solid painting".
George Heard Hamilton. 19th and 20th Century Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. New York, , pp. 85, 134, colorpl. 10, as "Ville d'Avray, Wooded Bank of the Pool, with a Woman Gathering Faggots"; asserts that "the whole design has a Classic serenity without any ostensibly Classic elements".
Gary Tinterow et al. Capolavori impressionisti dei musei americani. Exh. cat., Museo di Capodimonte, Naples. Milan, 1987, pp. 32–33, ill. (color).
Geneviève Matheron. Corot à Ville-d'Avray. Exh. cat., Musée de Ville-d'Avray. Ville-d'Avray, 1987, pl. 12, as "Rive boisée de l'étang avec une fagotière".
Fronia E. Wissman. "Corot's Salon Paintings: Sources from French Classicism to Contemporary Theater Design." PhD diss., Yale University, 1989, vol. 1, pp. 194–95, no. 119, mentions it as an example of Corot's paintings in which "mood became the most important ingredient".
Gary Tinterow inTreasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. Exh. cat., Yokohama Museum of Art. [Tokyo?], 1989, p. 133, no. 80, ill. (color), dates it about 1870–71.
Kathryn Calley Galitz inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, pp. 210–12, no. 39, ill. (color, overall and detail) [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, pp. 116–17, no. 31, ill. (color)], notes that it may have been influenced by Corot's study of photography.
Kathryn Calley Galitz inMasterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 39, 231, no. 36, ill. (color and black and white).
Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, p. 439, no. 363, ill. pp. 371, 439 (color).