The Bridge at Narni, 1827
oil on canvas
68 x 94.6 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 4526)
Corot followed a traditional program of academic training, which encouraged the painting of studies, or études, out of doors as preparation for composed landscapes with mythological subjects. In 1822 he entered the studio of the historic landscape painter Achille-Etna Michallon and later that of Jean-Victor Bertin before embarking on an extended trip to Italy in 1825. In September of the following year he visited the Umbrian town of Narni and made a sketch of the ruins of the Ponte Augusto, an ancient Roman bridge. The countryside of this larger version retains the fresh atmospheric details and brilliant light of the study. Corot sent this painting to the Salon of 1827 as his debut submission.