View of Volterra
View of Volterra, 1838
Oil on canvas
62-5/8 x 47 in.
In 1834, on his second trip to Italy, Corot spent a month in the fourteenth-century hill town of Volterra, southwest of Florence. During his stay, he completed at least five small oil sketches of the countryside.
In the years after his return to Paris, he used the sketches to paint two large views of the town. Whereas the sketches depict the distinctive buildings, towers, and fortifications of Volterra, the painting here shows only part of the town and emphasizes the golden light and rugged terrain characteristic of the Tuscan countryside.
The work is more an expression of the artist's recollection of the place than a portrait of a specific site.