Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1875)

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796–1875) was a painter and printmaker whose work links the Neo-Classical tradition with the plein-air method (painting outdoors), developed by the Impressionists. He is best-known for landscapes characterized by simple compositions, soft brushwork, and subtle gradations of tone and light. Corot studied with Achille Etna Michallon (French, 1796–1822) and Jean Victor Bertin (French, 1767–1842), students of the historical landscape painter Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (French, 1750–1819), before travelling to Italy in 1825 to complete his education. He submitted two paintings of the Roman countryside, Bridge at Narni (1826) and La Cervara (1827), to the Salon of 1827; throughout his career, he submitted more than 100 works to the Salon and became a member of its jury. Corot’s early work is divided into plein-air studies and large studio pictures of scenes from classical mythology. After 1850, Corot’s brushwork became more diffuse, and his subject matter included allegories and landscapes only loosely based on particular places. One of his most famous paintings, Souvenir of Mortefontaine (1864), depicts an idealized scene of a woman and children on the shore of a tranquil lake, while his broad brushstrokes anticipate the Impressionist movement. Apart from his landscapes, Corot painted portraits of his family and friends and experimented with cliché-verre, a medium that combined printmaking with early photographic technique. Corot was an influential figure for the next generation of artists, such as Berthe Morisot (French, 1841–1895) and Gustave Courbet (French, 1819–1877). His work is currently held in many museum collections, including the Louvre Museum and the Musée d'Orsay, in Paris, and the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, D.C.

Timeline

1796
Born: July 16th, France
1875
Died: February 22nd, Ville-d'Array