A Wadi, Egyptt by Matthew Ridley Corbet ARA 1850-1902 ARSA. Oil on board, 5 ¾ x 15 inches. Courtesy of the Maas Gallery, Click on image to enlarge it.

Corbet was one of Frederic, Lord Leighton’s more gifted pupils at the Royal Academy Schools. Leighton introduced him to his friend and fellow ‘Etruscan’, the Italian landscape painter Giovanni Costa whom Corbet joined with Leighton in Perugia in the autumn of 1878. That winter Corbet travelled up the Nile and painted a number of studies, of which this is one. A wadi is a usually dry river bed which carries water in the summer rainy season. The ‘letterbox’ format of this little study, a feature of the plein air oil sketches by the Etruscans, suited open topography. It is painted in close colours, a sincere essay in truth to nature.

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Last modified 22 June 2022