This person is associated with: Barbizon school
French realist painter
Camille Corot was born in Paris and was the son of a cloth merchant. In 1822 Corot’s father allowed his son to study painting and Corot was attracted to landscape painting and fascinated by the idea of working direct with nature out of doors. Corot also studied in the Louvre, and with two classicizing landscape painters, Michallon and Bertin.
From 1825 to 1828 Corot was in Italy and made Rome his base. For part of each year he would travel in the vicinity of Rome. The drawings and oil sketches he made during these trips formed the basis for the elaborate, classical landscapes he produced in the studio in the winter months.
In the autumn of 1828 Corot returned to Paris. From spring to autumn he would travel, usually in France but also abroad: Italy again in 1834 and 1843, Switzerland, Holland in 1854 and London in 1862.
Throughout the 1830s Corot concentrated on establishing his reputation. In 1833 he won a second class medal at the Salon and by 1840 he was well known. In 1846 Corot was awarded the Legion of Honour. At the Universal Exhibition of 1855 he was awarded a first class medal and the Emperor purchased one of his paintings, the Souvenir de Marcoussis (Louvre). This set a final seal of approval on the painter’s work. With dealers and private collectors clambering to buy his works, forgeries began to appear on the market.
Corot continued to work until his death in 1875. In his old age he was a legendary figure, admired by the impressionists and academics alike. He notably trained Camille Pissaro and Berthe Morisot,
With about 2500 paintings, he produced one of the largest oeuvres in European art. He is also one of the most forged artists as several dozens of thousands canvases bear his fake signature. Unscrupulous art dealers of the 19th century systematically added his signature in capital letters (thus easier to copy) to all Barbizon paintings they owned in order to increase their worth. Corot himself sometimes signed paintings from his students or of a friend in need.
Catalogue raisonné: Robault Alfred, L'oeuvre de Corot, Paris, Floury, 1905. Tome I, Tome II, Tome III., Tome IV.