French, 1796-1875

Overview

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796–1875) transitioned from historical landscapes to intimate, naturalistic scenes of rural France. His peaceful images, rendered with soft light and feathery brushwork, reassured Parisians who had lived through the 1848 revolution and saw their city become a fast-paced metropolis that the pastoral world was still intact. Corot's paintings inspired and provided a basis for the landscapes of the Impressionists. "Never lose the first impression which has moved you," Corot advised. His oil sketches, remarkable for their technical freedom and clear color, have come to be as highly regarded as his finished pictures. He was a direct influencer and mentor to Monet, Pissarro, and Van Gogh.