Corot painted at least four versions of this subject. As in his paintings of women as muses, Corot uses the female figure as a gentle evocation of artistic inspiration. The wreath may refer to the rewards of creativity.
Inscription: Stamped (lower right): VENTE / COROT
the artist, Paris (until d. 1875; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, deuxième partie, May 31–June 4, 1875, no. 435, for Fr 380 to Doria); comte Armand Doria, Paris (from 1875); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (until d. 1929; cat, 1931, p. 68; 2nd ed., 1958, p. 14, no. 71)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 11–November 2, 1930, no. 13 [2nd ed., 1958, no. 71].
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. A105.
Alfred Robaut. L'Œuvre de Corot: Catalogue raisonné et illustré. [reprint 1965]. Paris, 1905, vol. 3, pp. 34–35, no. 1337, ill.; vol. 4, p. 241, calls it "Jeune fille accroupie tressant une couronne" and dates it 1860–65.
"The H. O. Havemeyer Collection." Parnassus 2 (March 1930), p. 7.
C. Bernheim de Villers. Corot: Peintre de figures. Paris, 1930, p. 62, no. 200, ill.
H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, p. 68, as "Figure Piece—Italienne à genoux".
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The H. O. Havemeyer Collection. 2nd ed. New York, 1958, p. 14, no. 71.
Sylvie Béguin inFigures de Corot. Exh. cat., Musée du Louvre. Paris, 1962, p. 158, under no. 68, discusses it relation to four other paintings of women holding wreaths of flowers: "La jeune grecque drapée de blanc" (R1569; then collection Dr. and Mrs. Rudolph J. Heinemann, New York), "Jeune femme rêveuse tressant une couronne" (R2142), "Couronne de myrtes" (R1564), and "Couronne de fleurs" (R1432; formerly collection Mrs. Watson B. Dickerman, New York).
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. 57–58, ill., call it "A Girl Weaving a Garland"; tentatively identify the model as Cécile, who also posed for "Couronne de fleurs" (R1432).
Susan Alyson Stein inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 249, 285–86, notes the possibility that it was purchased from Durand-Ruel by Havemeyer in December 1908 or later.
Gretchen Wold inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 308, no. A105, ill.
This painting is one of several by Corot that depict female figures weaving or holding a garland of flowers, including Couronne de fleurs, Couronne de myrte, La Jeune grecque drapée de blanc, and Jeune femme rêveuse tressant une couronne (R1432, 1564, 1569, 2142; all present location unknown). The model has been tentatively identified as Cécile (see Sterling and Salinger 1966).