Camille Corot an outstanding French landscape painter of the XIX century, the most copied artist of his time. The work of Camille Corot of the Romantic era anticipated impressionism. He was a wealthy man and could only afford to do what he loved. He created over three thousand landscapes, several hundred portraits and prints. Although known twice as many “paintings of Corot”, which were copied and forged during his lifetime. He aroused interest as an artist, but he lived a modest ordinary life without ups, downs and passions.
Camille Corot was born into a family of Parisian merchants on July 17, 1796. His mother owned a women’s hat salon, and his father was in charge of financial affairs. Parents tried to introduce their son to their business, and then they gave him as assistants to a cloth merchant. The young man was rather childish and did not do the job well. Only in one thing he was unshakable in the desire to become a painter. It took 10 years for my father to come to terms with this. He removed his son from business and assigned him a solid annual rent. The artist was emotionally attached to his parents all his life, and especially to his mother. He did not have his own family.
Camille Corot began to study painting with academic artists. But his formation as a painter took place during his first trip to Italy. Here Corot found his original manner of depicting a landscape realistic, serene and as if unfinished.
He did not return to the painting after the inspiration and “original color” were lost. From 1825 to 1828 he traveled around Europe. He painted 150 paintings and created over 200 sketches. The artist traveled to Italy more than once, but most of the time he worked in France: in a family country house in an equipped workshop.
Camille Corot began to be called the author of the “mood landscape” and the predecessor of impressionism.
He did not take this direction and wrote in a different manner. In his paintings, not an instant is depicted, but a kind of frozen state. This brings Koro’s work closer to the classical landscape, but with a touch of romanticism and features of realism. The palette also differs from the riot of Impressionist colors. The artist preferred valeurs the finest gradations of shades of the same color. He also closely communicated with the followers of the Barbizon school of realistic landscape. But his paintings are more varied, deeper and more lyrical than those of the Barbizonians. French critic Edmond About wrote that Corot imitates nothing, not even nature.
The artist’s love for muted tones and morning landscapes was often mocked. Napoleon III (Napoleon) joked: to understand these works, you need to get up very early. But I bought his painting “Loneliness. Remembering Vizhan “for a very substantial sum. Ilya Repin called the landscape painter “boring”. And Isaac Levitan, on the contrary, learned French in order to become closer to his idol. The Impressionists, too, never ceased to admire him. Pierre-Auguste Renoir said that Corot is able to convey everything “with one knot of a tree.” Claude Monet considered him an unsurpassed master, with whom no one can compare.
The artist himself was worried about something completely different.
The audience of the Paris Salon received him rather coolly, the landscapes did not sell well. The painter had to create a couple of “compromise” works (“Monk with a Cello”, “Shepherd”), which changed the opinion of critics and the Salon. After the 40s, a turning point occurred, paintings began to be ordered in large quantities. Corot even hired assistants and copiers. He also signed their works: it was from there that numerous copies and forgeries went. The artist was calm about this. In 1848 he was finally awarded the Legion of Honor. And the master received the Grand Medal of the Paris Salon just before his death, thanks to the petition of friends.
The general acceptance did not change Camille Corot. He remained humble and generous. I could not abandon my impoverished friend, the cartoonist and painter Honoré Daumier, in trouble. I bought him a house, where he found his last refuge. Corot himself died at the age of 78 on February 22, 1875. The artist suffered from stomach cancer, so he anticipated his departure. And he ordered to exhibit several of his works when he himself is gone.