Corot used the full width of his brush to quickly describe the broad features of this rolling landscape. From an elevated position he framed the vista between the hill that rises to the left and the body of water at the lower right; their round forms bring a tenuous balance to this otherwise casual composition. Only a few dabs of paint—red for the shepherdess and brown for the flock below her—serve to indicate scale. Neither the date of the sketch nor the view depicted has been securely identified.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): COROT
comte Armand Doria, Paris; possibly Dr. Ulysse Trélat père, Paris (until d. 1879); probably Dr. Ulysse Trélat fils, Paris (until d. 1890); his son, Marcel Trélat, Paris (until d. 1933; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 5, 1933, no. 13, as "Paysage montagneux," for Fr 4,600); Dr. Georges Viau, Paris (until d. 1939; his estate, 1939–42; his estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 11, 1942, no. 80, as "Paysage aux deux femmes," for Fr 650,000); private collection, Switzerland (by 1989–at least 1991); [Arthur Tooth and Sons, London; stock no. 4224]; sale, Sotheby's, New York, November 10, 1998, no. 19 (bought in); private collection, New York (sold to Brady); [W. M. Brady & Co., New York, until 2002; sold to Gaines]; John R. Gaines, Lexington, Ky. (2002–d. 2005; posthumous sale, Christie's, New York, April 19, 2005, no. 146, as "Paysage montagneux," for $66,000); Eugene V. Thaw, New York (until 2009)
London. The Lefevre Gallery (Alex Reid & Lefevre Ltd.). "Corot," April 6–28, 1989, no. 17 (as "Paysage montagneux," ca. 1855–60).
New York. W. M. Brady & Co.. "Master Drawings 1700–1900," January 22–February 9, 2002, no. 30 (as "Paysage montagneux").
André Schoeller and Jean Dieterle. Corot: Premier supplément à "L'oeuvre de Corot" par A. Robaut et Moreau-Nélaton. Paris, 1948, pp. 50–51, no. 43, ill., as "Paysage montagneux"; date it about 1855–60.
Michael Clarke. Corot and the Art of Landscape. London, 1991, pp. 68–69, ill. (color), calls it "Mountainous Landscape" and dates it to the 1840s.
Mark Brady. Master Drawings 1700–1900. Exh. cat., W. M. Brady & Co. New York, 2002, unpaginated, no. 30, ill. (color), notes that while the view is unidentified, it may represent the Morvan district of western Burgundy, which Corot visited frequently in 1840–45; adds that the presence of the artist's signature is evidence that Corot was pleased with this "firmly constructed, fluidly brushed and utterly natural composition".
Esther Bell. "Catalogue Raisonné of the Thaw Collection." Studying Nature: Oil Sketches from the Thaw Collection. Ed. Jennifer Tonkovich. New York, 2011, p. 112, no. 32, ill. (color), calls it "Mountain Landscape".