The fabrics trader Henry commissioned Corot to paint the view from his home and factory. The artist greatly admired the work of 17th century Dutch landscape painters, which is clearly evident in this painting, with its low horizon, high cloudy sky, the light and realistic painting style.
Peace and harmony
Corot’s landscape exudes peace and harmony. This is due in part to the traditional, balanced composition. The diagonal position of the building in the foreground leads the eye, as it were, into the landscape towards the fields and the town of Soissons. The peaceful atmosphere is further reinforced by the boy lying relaxed in the grass and the girl sitting next to him.
Corot is difficult to place in a particular school. Characteristic is the naturalness of his landscapes. The impressionists had a great appreciation for his work, due to the atmosphere, the beautiful bright light, the skies and the soft, hazy shapes.