Gallery of prints for sale

Thursday 29 August 2019

Camille Corot's transfer lithograph, “The Isolated Tower”, 1871

Camille Corot (aka Jean Baptiste Camille Corot) (1796–1875)

“The Isolated Tower” (La Tour Isolée), 1871, published by Alfred-Ernest Robaut (1830–1909) and printed in an edition of 50 impressions by Lemercier & Cie (fl.1827–1899) in Paris in an unbound suite of twelve autolithographs, “Douze croquis et dessins originaux sur papier autographique par Corot” (Twelve Sketches and Designs by Corot) (1871).

Regarding the small number (50) of impressions in the edition of this print, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, offers the following insight:
“The decision to cap the number of impressions was innovative since at this date the ‘limited edition’ was still far from being a standard practice in the marketing of graphic art. The lithographs – in various tones of black, sepia and reddish brown – were printed on thin, tinted paper bonded to a heavier wove-paper support.”

Transfer lithograph/autolithograph (i.e. a lithograph where the original design is drawn with greasy crayon onto paper which is then transferred to the printing stone) printed in black ink on buff coloured China paper appliqué which has been separated from its original support sheet and is laid upon archival washi paper.

Regarding the lithographic process employed for this print, The Art Gallery of NSW advises:
“Robaut procured sheets of lithographic transfer paper and encouraged Corot to make sketches of the countryside on them. By rendering his impressions on special paper, Corot’s original drawings could be transferred to a lithographic stone by a professional printer at a later date. Transfer lithography (or autographie in French) was ideally suited to Corot’s disposition: it saved him the difficulty of having to work on a heavy and cumbersome limestone block and it afforded him the freedom to sketch in a free- flowing style with a soft crayon, in the studio or in the open air as he pleased” (AGNSW, op.cit.).

Size: (sheet) 22 x 27.8 cm.
Signed in the plate by the artist at lower left.
State i (of i) lifetime impression.

Melot 1981 C 20 (Michel Melot 1981, "Graphic Art of the Pre-Impressionists”, New York, Harry N. Abrams, p. 261, cat. no. 20); Delteil 20 (Loys Delteil Le peintre-graveur illustré (XIX et XX siècles) Corot. privately printed, 5, Paris, 1910, cat. no. 20).

Condition: excellent impression but in poor condition with stains (mainly on the right side) and with many tears and holes/losses to the sheet (mainly in the sky) that have been restored with watercolour infilling. The sheet is laid on a support of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this exceptionally rare lithograph—only fifty were printed—by one of the most famous artists of the nineteenth century for the total cost of AU$680 (currently US$458.41/EUR414.12/GBP375.98 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this remarkable lithograph from the suite of twelve prints described by the AGNSW as being “among the most fleeting and atmospheric renditions of landscape ever committed to stone” (op.cit.), please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold

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