Artist
Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot
French landscape painter and printmaker in etching

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Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot
French landscape painter and printmaker in etching
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Birth Date

July 16, 1796

Death Date

February 22, 1875

mmarcure's picture

Contributor

Claude Monet once described Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot as the only master in a room of masterful artists, and that he, the world-famous impressionist himself, was nothing by comparison. 

Corot was a Romantic painter who was able to make a rather successful career on his landscapes later on in life (he was dependent on his parents, who thought of him as talentless, until his forties or so). Numerous critics and artists alike called his work landscape-poems, which is a rather fitting descriptor. His landscapes are lush yet gauzy, and somehow faintly sad. They look like how a good poem might make you feel: awe and sadness at the beauty of life.

Looking at appraisals from critics of his time, you frequently come across terms like genius. By the 1850s, he was considered a nationally renowned painter of France. But there was also a rather strong sense that, in the era of Romantic landscapes, the public had seen too many compositions of the same nature. So, even in spite of Corot’s acknowledge mastery of the form, there was a fatigue with his work. There were also rampant forgeries of his style, due to the popularity of his poetic voice, which didn’t help matters at all.

Corot actually did a lot of figure studies as well in the last two decades of his life. These are mostly of women in elaborate costume and occasionally recall the work of Rembrandt and even of Monet. In the past few years the art world has seen a widespread appreciation for and re-evaluation of these figure paintings; one of his paintings was said to rival the Mona Lisa.

Maybe Monet was right, and we’re only beginning to understand how good of a painter Corot truly was.

Sources

Sources

  1. Roy, Ashok. The National Gallery Technical Bulletin. London: National Gallery Company, 2009. https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/upload/pdf/herring2009.pdf.
  2. Stamberg, Susan. "At The End Of His Career, This 19th Century Artist Painted As He Pleased." NPR. October 03, 2018. Accessed April 2019. https://www.npr.org/2018/10/03/653704714/at-the-end-of-his-career-this-1....
  3. "Artist Info - Corot." National Gallery of Art. Accessed April 30, 2019. https://www.nga.gov/collection/artist-info.1169.html#biography.
melliot's picture

Contributor

French Born July 17, 1796 - Died February 22, 1875

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (UK: /ˈkɒr/ KORR-oh,

US: /kəˈr, kɔːˈr/

kə-ROH, kor-OH,French: [ʒɑ̃ batist kamij kɔʁo]; July 16, 1796 – February 22, 1875) was a French landscape and portrait painter as well as a printmaker in etching. He is a pivotal figure in landscape painting and his vast output simultaneously references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.