The National Gallery, London has purchased The Four Times of Day (1858) by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition was financed by a contribution from the Art Fund, a charity that assists museums in acquiring works for their collections.
The four-part painting, which represents the times of day (morning, noon, evening, and night), had been loaned to the gallery by its previous owners since 1997. It joins the 21 other Corot paintings in the National Gallery’s permanent collection.
Announcing the acquisition, National Gallery director Nicholas Penny said, “Each painting is a meditative evocation of the beauty of nature and at the same time a bravura demonstration of the artist’s skill in improvising landscape compositions that are subtly interrelated in both color and form. They are among Corot’s greatest works and we are delighted that—with support from the Art Fund—we are able to make them a permanent addition to the national collection.”
Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar added, “We could not think of a better home for these important works than the National Gallery, where they have resided and delighted for over 17 years. We were very pleased to help by offering a substantial grant.”
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