Jean Baptiste Camille Corot Biography | Oil Paintings
7-16-1796 Paris, FRA – 2-22-1875 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
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 Lorrain.
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 appreciation by France's artistic establishment or the public. Until he was forty-five, Corot was still dependent on his parents who gave him a small allowance to live on and regarded him as a talentless amateur. But among artists, he was beginning to be discovered. The first signal of official recognition was when at the Paris Salon of 1840 the government bought one of his oil paintings Le Petit Berger (The Little Shepherd). He was very 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 innovative style of Impressionism.
Corot Painted 3000 canvases, 10,000 have been sold in America
Corot was universally beloved and a generous man when he had money. The “talentless amateur” now supported Jean-François Millet's widow and he also bought a house for the frail, down and out 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 moderately easy-to-copy late painting style by any trained artist resulted in huge numbers of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot forgeries (not to be confused with reproductions) between 1870 and 1939. Corot once said amusingly, "Corot painted three thousand canvases, ten thousand of which have been sold in America".
Art Movement History: Barbizon, Romanticism.
Artists Influencing 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.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.