Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot

Washerwomen in a Willow Grove, 1871

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About the Artist

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (born July 16, 1796, Paris, Fr. — died Feb. 22, 1875, Paris) was a French landscape painter. Born to prosperous parents, he proved unsuited to the family business and at age 25 was given a small allowance to pursue art training. He traveled frequently and painted topographical landscapes throughout his career, but he preferred making small oil sketches and drawings from nature; from these he produced large finished paintings for exhibition. By the 1850s he had achieved critical success and a large income, and he was generous to less successful artists. His naturalistic oil sketches are now more highly regarded than his more self-consciously poetic finished paintings. He is often associated with the Barbizon school. A master of tonal gradation and soft edges, he prepared the way for the Impressionist landscape painters and had an important influence on Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Berthe Morisot.