Jean Baptiste Camille Corot
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Corot, Jean Baptiste Camille
Born July 16, 1796, in Paris; died there Feb. 22, 1875. French painter.
From 1822 to 1824, Corot studied with the academic painters A. Michallon and V. Bertin. He lived in Italy from 1825 to 1828 and again in 1834 and 1843. One of the founders of French 19th-century realist landscape painting, Corot was interested in the lyrical apprehension of nonidealized nature. His paintings done directly from nature are similar to those of the Barbizon school. Corot’s studies and pictures executed between 1820 and 1850, in which he depicted French and Italian landscapes and monuments from antiquity (View of the Colosseum, 1826, Louvre, Paris), are marked by spontaneity and a poetic mood. These qualities are achieved through the use of a light palette, saturated areas of color, and thick layers of paint. Corot re-created the diaphanous quality of air and the brilliance of sun-light. The clear, carefully structured composition and precisely modeled forms in his paintings, particularly in his historical landscapes, reflect classicist traditions (for example, Homer and the Shepherds, 1845, Saint-L6 Museum of Art).
In the 1850’s elements of poetic contemplation, spirituality, and elegiac dreaming became more apparent in Corot’s work, particularly in his landscapes painted from memory, such as Recollection of Mortfontaine (1864, Louvre). His painting became more delicate, shimmering, and light. His palette acquired rich tonal values, and forms began to dissolve in a silvery, pearly mist. In his works of this period, such as Gust of Wind (1865–70, Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow), Corot sought to capture the momentary, evanescent aspects of nature and the ambience of light and air. Preserving the freshness of a first impression, he anticipated impressionist landscapes. Corot also painted genre portraits, such as Woman With the Pearl (1868–70, Louvre), in which he emphasized the harmonious unity of the sitter with the environment. The figures in his por-traits are serene and luminous. Corot was also an etcher, lithographer, and draftsman.
REFERENCESAlpatov, M. V. Coro. Leningrad, 1936.
Coro-khudozhnik, chelovek. Moscow, 1963.
Robaut, A. L’oeuvre de Corot, vols. 1–5, Paris, 1905.
Bazin, G. Corot, 2nd ed. Paris, 1951.
Fosca, F. Corot Paris-Brussels, 1958.
V. S. TURCHIN