Camille Corot painted this landscape view in a place very close to the French city of Beauvais. It was the year 1866 and the following year she exhibited it in the Salon of Artists, selling it almost immediately, which speaks very well of the prestige that the painter had achieved at the time.
Corot had discovered this area near Paris a few years through his contact with another painter, M Badin, who was also the director of the Tapestry Factory. And since she first arrived in 1857, she has returned time and time again to Beauvais and its surroundings. This is a good example, which also captures Corot's traditional interest in landscapes where rivers appear, as we can see in many of his paintings of the Bridge of Nantes type. A work that, like View of Marissel, is exhibited at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
View of Marissel de Corot
The painter during these stays went on excursions and reached places like the village of Marissel, whose church we see in the background, with the Therain stream in the foreground, which bathes the fields of the valley. By the way, he loved this place, and in fact he took pictures of it several times over time.
In this case we are facing a canvas of extraordinary delicacy. For him, he made a magnificent and subtle study of light, contemplating it patiently until he found the effectslights that I was looking for. It is a fairly dim morning light, typical of a late winter morning, when the first leaves of the year begin to sprout on the branches of the trees.
Without a doubt there are many paintings throughout the History of Art inspired by the beginning of spring, but few have known how to show the first uncertain measures of that season, when the elements that herald a rebirth alternate with others that seem to predict that the harsh winter is going to last longer than expected.
On the other hand, Corot's art as a landscape painter should be highlighted. He is known for his ability to realistically represent both natural and urban spaces, but to achieve that realism he knows how to introduce certain visual tricks and small modifications that enhance both his painting and the place represented.
For example, here he knew how to lengthen a little bit the perspective that leads to the church building, just as he eliminated the presence of an existing fence. We can know this thanks to the fact that at the time, a photographer from the area went expressly to the place to photograph the place and make a comparison between the canvas and reality. Something that is no longer possible today, given that the site has been completely transformed and only the temple of the population is recognizable.