This canvas is one of a group of "souvenirs" (recollections) that Corot painted towards the end of his life in which he combined an observation of the French woodland landscape with recollections of various places in Italy. In these works Corot aimed to express the emotions aroused by the contemplation of nature rather than to depict a specific place. Solitude was painted a few months after the death of his great friend Constant Dutilleux and the painting is imbued with an air of melancholy expressed through a harmonious combination of greens, blues and greys. The woman in the centre of the composition is a modern reinterpretation of the personification of Melancholy, seemingly evoking a Golden Age that has now passed.

Exhibited at the 1866 Salon, Solitude was acquired by the Empress Eugenia de Montijo for her private collection.


  • Title: The Solitude. Recollection of Vigen, Limousin
  • Creator: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
  • Date Created: 1866
  • Style: Nineteenth-Century European Painting Realism, Naturalism and Symbolism
  • Provenance: Paris, Collection of the Empress Eugénie de Montijo, 1866 (acquired by Napoleon III, 18,000 frcs); Paris, Madame de Cassin Collection, 1884; Paris, Carcano Collection; Sale Marquis Landolfo Carcano Collection, 8 June 1912, lot 16 (350,000 frcs); Paris, Knoedler, Arnold et Tripp; Paris, Arnold et Tripp; London, Arthur and Sons, 1912; New York, William G. Moore, 1938; London, Sotheby's 4 May 1960, lot 85; London, Downey Collection, 1962; London, Thomas Agnew & Sons; New York, Christie's 12 May 1999, lot 6; Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on loan at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.
  • Physical Dimensions: w1300 x h950 mm
  • Original Title: The Solitude. Recollection of Vigen, Limousin
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: http://www.museothyssen.org/en/thyssen/ficha_obra/953
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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