Jean Baptiste Camille Corot Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions

7-16-1796 Paris, FRA – 2-22-1875 Paris, FRA

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Corot, Jean Baptiste Camille

Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, a French painter, specialized in landscapes in the classical tradition, Born in Paris, Corot was the son of a cloth merchant and initially followed his father's trade. For a time, he worked at The Caliph of Baghdad, a luxury fabric shop.

When Camille Corot was twenty-six, he decided to make art his career. With his father's financial support, he received training and traveled, visiting Italy three times. He trained under Michallon and Bertin, both of whom were renowned for their classical landscapes. Indeed, Michallon was the first winner of the Historical Landscape category in the Prix de Rome, when it was introduced in 1817. This genre, which Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot was to make his own, consisted of idealized views, set in the ancient, classical world, and was inspired by the 17th-century paintings of Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorain.

Camille Corot's blend of Modern and Traditional Styles.

Corot's distinctive style stemmed from his unique blend of modern and traditional techniques. Each summer, he made lengthy sketching trips around Europe, working these studies up into paintings in the winter, in his Paris studio. He combined this traditional practice with a fascination for the latest developments in photography. The shimmering appearance of his foliage, for example, was inspired by the halation or blurring effects, which could be found in contemporary photographs of the time.

Corot spent much of his life without widespread appreciation by France's artistic establishment or the public. Until his mid-forties, Corot, still dependent on his parents who fondly regarded him as a talentless amateur, lived on his small allowance. But among artists, he was beginning to find admirers. The first signal of official recognition was given him at the Salon of 1840 when the government bought his Le Petit Berger (The Little Shepherd). He was cheerfully productive, and he pursued his own course: to preserve the freshness of his impressions of nature. The Impressionists, whom he later befriended, embraced this intention. His work simultaneously references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the Plein-air innovations of Impressionism.

Corot was universally beloved and a generous man when he had money. He supported Jean-François Millet's widow and bought a house for the ailing, destitute Honoré Daumier. Corot is acknowledged as one of the five greatest landscape painters in the world, along with Hobbema, Lorrain, Turner and Constable.

The strong market for Corot's works and his relatively easy-to-imitate late painting style resulted in a huge production of Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot forgeries between 1870 and 1939. Amusingly said, "Corot painted three thousand canvases, ten thousand of which have been sold in America".

Art Movement History: Barbizon, Romanticism
Artists Influencing Camille Corot: Achille Etna Michallon, Claude Lorrain, Nicolas Poussin, Jean-Victor Bertin, John Constable
He Traveled To Italy, Switzerland, England, Netherlands
Painters Camille Corot Influenced: Camille Pissarro, Eugène Boudin, Berthe Morisot, Stanislas Lépine, Antoine Chintreuil, François-Louis Français, Charles Le Roux, Alexandre Defaux

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