Baroque Landscape: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

17 06 2010

I can only marvel at the work of French artist Corot (1796-1875). He follows that baroque format of variation in focus rendering much of out blurred and out of focus. In this respect some might liken him to the Impressionists who followed him. But to my eye he differs in that he retains the sense of a sharp focus. There are enough edges and sharp contrasts for give the roving eye places to rest comfortably. Corot was part of movement of landscape painters, called the ‘Barbizon’ (after a village near Fontainbleau Forest where they gathered). They consciously modelled their work on John Constable’s landscapes and ideas. Constable’s work had been popular in France and he had exhibited his work there. I think that my comments on his approach are, not surprisingly, similar to those I made in regard to Constable. For example, he tends to work tone into the natural colour of what is being painted, greens, for example, of the landscape. However, Corot seems to have

developed further what Constable did and is perhaps even more masterly in his ability to combine all these competing considerations in a unified beautiful image. His rendering of foliage and especially the appearance of trunks and branches within the form of the tree or shrub is immensely skilfull. I would refer those who haven’t read them to my other articles on baroque landscapes. Beyond the general comments about landscape I have very little to say other than just enjoy the beauty of his work.

Baroque Landscape

Baroque Landscape: Chinese Baroque!

Romantic Baroque: the Landscapes of William Turner

19th Century Baroque: the Landscaps of John Constable




2 responses

19 06 2010
Andrew Lucas

Beautiful painting, I always love realism especially whey they look so real. Post more pictures please. I really enjoy them.

20 06 2010
Matthew James Collins

Corot definitely built on Constable’s tradition. A factor that probably enriched his work was a lengthy and productive stay in Italy. Many landscape painters of that period did a type of ‘Grand tour’ of the picturesque site in and around Rome. They all painted a plein air together, obviously engaging in artistic dialogue. Corot was recognized early for his true colors. Painting from life definitely enriched his painting vocabulary and informed his later work(the paintings that you have shown above)

If you could post more pics of his Italian stay, that would be great.

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