After an education at the Collège de Rouen and two unfulfilled apprenticeships with drapers, he was given the financial freedom at the age of 26 to devote himself to painting.
Corot first studied with the landscape artists Achille Etna Michallon and after his death with Jean-Victor Bertin, one of the best Neo-Classical landscape artists in France. From 1825 to 1828 Corot made the trip to Italy, spending time in Rome and Campagna, before travelling to Naples. In 1827 he sent his first paintings to the Paris Salon; ‘View at Narni’ and ‘Roman Campagna’.
Corot returned to Italy in 1834 and 1843. He also travelled extensively in France, to Normandy, Provence, the Morvan region in Burgundy and to north-east France in 1871. In 1854 he travelled in Holland and Belgium, regularly visited Switzerland and in 1862 he was in London.
During these trips Corot painted ‘en plein air’ and filled numerous notebooks with drawings. He maintained an artistic practice that was timed with the seasons; he would spend his springs and summers working outdoors in nature. When the weather would turn in late autumn and winter, Corot would retreat to his home studio to work on large canvases based on the studies he had done earlier in the year. His early oil sketches were clearly defined and fresh, using bright colours in fluid strokes.
Although Corot achieved middling success early in his career; it was in 1840 when the French government purchased one of his works. Five years later when he received a glowing review from the famed poet Charles Baudelaire that his career took off.
Corot was made a member of the Legion of Honour in 1846 (promoted to officer in 1867), won a gold medal in 1855 at the Paris Exposition Universelle where he showed six paintings and ultimately became so sought after that his supply did not meet the demand.
Corot was a man so devoted to his art that he never got married and spent his later years engaged in philanthropic activities. He preferred the company of fellow painter and was particularly close with the Barbizon group. He also taught younger painters, such as Camille Pissarro who would become an integral figure of the Impressionist movement.
Works by this artist…
Paysage a L'Homme Accroupi( ref : 15214 )