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Orpheus Greeting the Dawn (Orphée salue la lumière) or Hymn to the Sun (L'Hymne au soleil)

Orpheus Greeting the Dawn (Orphée salue la lumière) or Hymn to the Sun (L'Hymne au soleil)

On View

Elvehjem : Gallery : 5

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was one of France’s most popular nineteenth-century artists. He primarily painted landscapes, often working outdoors, a practice artists were just beginning to adopt. Corot’s early works, associated with the Barbizon School, are humble and realistic landscapes. However, this painting represents his later work, which is characterized by idyllic scenes enlivened by graceful, often allegorical, figures. In these later compositions Corot evokes a tranquil mood, using a soft palette and brushwork. In this painting, the dawn light reveals a small temple nestled in the hillside. The figure is Orpheus, son of Apollo and the muse Calliope, the greatest musician and poet in Greek mythology. He raises his arms to welcome the new day, having returned from Hades where he had attempted, albeit unsuccessfully, to rescue his wife, Eurydice. This work is one of two decorative paintings commissioned for the Paris townhouse of Russian Prince Paul Demidoff. Its companion painting, or pendant, The Sleep of Diana or Night, is currently in a private collection. These two works are distinctive as the only paintings Corot ever executed for the decoration of a private residence.
Artist
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
(French, 1796 - 1875)
Title
Orpheus Greeting the Dawn (Orphée salue la lumière) or Hymn to the Sun (L'Hymne au soleil)
Date
1865
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
78 3/4 x 54 in. Overall
Credit
Gift in memory of Earl William and Eugenia Brandt Quirk, Class of 1910, by their children (E. James Quirk, Catherine Jean Quirk and Lillian Quirk Conley)
Accession No.
1981.136
Classification
Paintings
Geography
France

Related

1865, Paul Demidoff (Paris, France*); 3 February 1868, sold by auction (lot 11) to Paul Durand-Ruel (Paris, France); 8 April 1875, Liebig and Fremyn Sale (lot 9) (Paris, France); ca. 1875, purchased by Daniel Cottier (New York, NY); 1891, transferred by estate of Daniel Cottier (New York, NY) to Durand-Ruel Gallery (Paris, France); 27-28 May 1892, sold in Cottier Sale at Durand-Ruel Gallery (Paris, France) to Paul Durand-Ruel (Paris, France) on behalf of Bertha Honore Potter Palmer (Chicago, IL); 1922, bequeathed by Bertha Honore Potter Palmer (Chicago, IL) to the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL); 2 March 1944, sold by Art Institute of Chicago via Park Bernet Galleries (lot 47) (New York, NY); 1944, sold by Vose Galleries (stock no. 13900) (Boston, MA) to Earl William Quirk (Watertown, WI); 1960, passed through inheritance by Earl William Quirk to his wife, Eugenia Brandt Quirk (Watertown, WI); 1979, passed through inheritance by Eugenia Brandt Quirk to her children, E. James Quirk, Catherine Jean Quirk, and Lillian Quirk Conley; 1981, gifted to the Elvehjem Museum of Art [now called Chazen Museum of Art]. *Paul Demidoff was known to have several residences in Russia and France, the object file indicates that the painting was specifically installed in his Paris townhouse.

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  • Exposition 1875: L'Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, 11/30/1999-11/30/1999
  • Welf-Austellung, 1873: Rotunda, Vienna, 11/30/1999-11/30/1999
  • Exposition de l'oeuvre de Corot, 1875: L'ecole des beaux-arts, Paris, 11/30/1999-11/30/1999
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  • World Exposition 1873 Vienna (Weltastellung 1873 Wien): World Exposition Vienna, 5/1/1873-10/31/1873

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