Artist: Camille Corot (French, Paris 1796–1875 Paris)
Medium: Oil on paper, laid down on wood
Dimensions: 10 1/2 x 12 1/8 in. (26.7 x 30.8 cm)
Credit Line: The Whitney Collection, Gift of Wheelock Whitney III, and Purchase, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. McVeigh, by exchange, 2003
Accession Number: 2003.42.13
Painters visited Rome and the surrounding countryside to record the natural beauty of the scenery and its antique monuments. The Cascata delle Marmore combines both, having been engineered in the third century B.C. to divert the river Velino into the Nera, a tributary of the Tiber. Corot visited the waterfall in summer 1826, attaining a mastery of plein-air technique that is characterized by the candor, naturalism, and seemingly intuitive structure of this sketch. Corot did not exhibit such informal works, but he tried to infuse the paintings he began to show at the Salon the following year with the same vigorous sensibility.