Birth name Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Born July 17, 1796, France
Died February 22, 1875, France
Movement Barbizon school
Corot, the real forerunner of modern landscape pain ting, brought back from Rome, as did his two friends Edouard Bertin and Caruelle d'Aligny, a number of closely observed but somewhat austere studies of the Roman Campagna that showed a fresh vision and attitude to the classical landscape. These paintings are small in size, but are real masterpieces. However the large compositions he painted for the Salon to please the Hanging Committee are definitely still in the neo-classical tradition, and lack his usual typical spontaneity and freshness. He also shows his originality as a painter, though indeed he sometimes reminds us of Manet. His Woman seated with her bare painted in 1835, Marietta (1848) and portrait of the Reverend Mother if the Annonciade Convent reveal a deep sense of hidden life as one finds in Vermeer, in spite of his parently effortless simplicity. At the same time as he was working on series of Souvenirs of Mortefontaine and d'Avray, with peasant women carrying wood or mythological figures added just to please the authorities at the Academy, he also painted landscapes in various other parts of France: Chartres, Brittany, Douai or the Isere Valley. These landscapes are very moving in their simplicity, and have an extraordinarily fresh youthful appeal.
Based on Phaidon encyclopedia of Impressionism, Maurice Serullaz, Phaidon, 1978