In 1845, the French poet Charles Baudelaire proclaimed Corot the leading painter of the modern landscape.
Corot based his large oil painting on drawings and oil sketches made outdoors. Attracted to the beauty of the Italian countryside, he often sketched around Rome, where he lived from 1825 to 1828. This painting's highly structured composition, based on forms moving into the distance along a series of diagonals, is characteristic of Corot's early style and recalls the classical landscapes of 17th-century painter Nicholas Poussin.
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