Corot was born in Italy
to a fashion cloth merchant millionaire. He was educated in a boarding
school, then later studied in Rouen and Poissy. He followed his
father's footsteps into the fashion cloth trade and held many apprenticeships.
However, in his spare time, it is documented that he drew and painted
landscape and later attended classes at the Academie Suisse.
In 1821, Corot's sister
died. His father gave him two choices. Either he could enter the
cloth trade and inherit his sister's diary or become an artist and
receive only the income generated from the diary. Corot chose to
be an artist and supported himself with a modest income.
In 1822,he studied with
Achille-Etna Michallon where he learned the technique of outdoor
oil painting. Michallon also gave Corot his own models to study.
After six months, Michallon died. Corot then joined the Jean-Victor
Bertin studio for the next three years. During this time, Corot
met several artists in hotels and at the Cafe Grecco.
Corot learned to include
structure in his paintings. He also concentrated on the freshness
of the oil painting and principles of classical landscape composition.
Corot's paintings sometimes focused on ornamentation throughout
time. His paintings were said to have harmony of two to three colors
with perfect juxtaposed compositions. One difference in Corot's
style compared to the Impressionist style is, Corot painted his
compositions in his studio and he painted his studies in plein air.
In 1827, he was favored
by the critics and recognized as one of the most popular landscape
painters in Italy.
Corot traveled to France
and back to Italy sometimes six months at a time. Although many
of his paintings did not sell, he was awarded the Legion of Honor
It wasn't until the
1850's, when Corot's painting were recognized. In this year, he
participated in a series of large compositions.
In the 1850's Corot
changed his style from hard light to soft forms created by dissolving
light. This new style gave him the title "Papa Corot". Corot influenced
many artists and generations of landscape painters with his new
tonal approach to capture atmosphere. Pissarro was influenced by
Corot and acknowledged him as his master.
The majority of Corot's
Italian oils were not publicly known until after his death in 1875.
Paintings by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
- Girl with the Red
Sweater - 1845/50
Dance of Nymphs- 1850/51
- Souvenir of Mortefontaine
- The Boatman of Mortefontaine
1865 - 1870
- L'Atelier de Corot
1865 - 1870
- La Toilette - 1859