Corot 1796-1875

Pre-Impressionism

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot

1796 – 1875

 

Corot, Jean-Baptiste Camille (1796-1875)
  • 1822: first paintings outdoors, also at Fontainebleau (R59, p8; R61, p12+15).
  • Especially the 1850s onwards he made some monumental portraits (R61,p33). The 1840s onwards he uses many silvery tones (R61,26). An important element in his paintings is the rendering of a harmonic mood (R61,p32)
  • Paintings he submitted to the Salon were mostly paintings with historical / mythological / religious themes. He painted these in his studio; they were mostly composed of parts from studies painted en-plein-air, his memories and imagination and examples of old masters (R59, p115; R60, p89; R61,p9).
  • At the Exposition Universelle of 1855 Corot (exhibiting 6 works) received a 1st class medal.
  • At the Exposition Universelle of 1867 Corot received a 2nd class medal (exhibiting 7 paintings) and later would be appointed Chevalier de Légion d’honneur. (R231)
  • In 1849, 51, 65 + 70: member of the Paris Salon jury, defended the Impressionists (R61, p39; R59, p177); 1867: supported Bazille’s request for an independent exposition; teacher of Pissarro, Morisot and Lépine (R59,p177-8; R60,p54+66; R61,p29) and an informal teacher of Rouart (R45,p9). Rouart also had a large collection of works of Corot (R45; see).
  • Corot received a maintenance from his parents of 2000 francs a year. He sold his first painting just in 1840 (R60,p29) and only in the early 1850s collectors became seriously interested in his work (R61,p24).
  • Corot can be seen as a pre-impressionist: painted en-plein-air; often rendered the time of day (1858: also in serie); he often used rather bright colours; 1865: in his most impressionistic painting he used purplish shadows and pinkish browns, see as he did already in 1826 (R61,no.3); still he often used many greys, browns and dark greens; his brushstroke also stays rather smooth.
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