Students of Corot
Corot was known for his generosity, taking in students during many stages in his career. Although he mostly gave advice, there were a few exceptions, leaving some to gratefully receive lessons and even collaboration from the master. There is no shortage of respect that follows this great artist up through the period of Impressionism.
Portrait of Antoine Chintreuil
Around 1843, in Paris, Chintreuil met Corot through the landscape painter Léopold Desbrosses. Corot became his real teacher and Chintreuil was Corot’s best student during this period. Even though Corot encouraged him to lean toward painting landscapes, Chintreuil had a definite style of his own. After being introduced to the en plein air technique, he began to paint outside. Corot’s influence on him was vast, leaving Chintreuil to refer to himself as Corot’s pupil throughout his lifetime.
A Blossoming River Bank, 1860-1880
Last Rays of Sun on a Field of Sainfoin, 1814-1873
On the French coast, in a town called Le Havre, Boudin began to paint the sea. In 1844, he met Corot in the stationary and picture framing shop that was owned by his father. The seaside was a place many artists went for the summer months to paint the landscapes and seascapes; Corot included.
Boudin was self-taught like Corot; utilizing the en plein air technique. Corot referred to him as the “master of the sea.” He is said to be the link between Corot and the Impressionists; the latter included Boudin in their first Impressionist exhibition of 1874.
Festival in the Harbor of Honfleur, 1858
La Plage de Trouville, 1865
Appian met Corot in 1852, which led to his decision to dedicate his life to his art. Working from nature in Fontainebleau and at the side of other School of Barbizon artists, Appain’s style resembled that of Corot’s.
Sometimes considered to be Pissarro’s greatest early influence, Corot met him in 1858 in Paris. As with other students, Corot encouraged him to paint en plein air. Through his efforts, Pissarro’s paintings resulted in naturalistic landscapes utilizing the same dark tones that were apparent during this time in Corot’s work. In both the 1864 and 1865 Salon catalogs, Pissarro is listed as Corot’s pupil. His drawing View of Trees can be compared closely to the landscape drawings of Corot from the 1830s.
Edge of the Woods by Camille Pissarro
Chennevieres on the Banks of the Marne
The Crystal Palace
In 1859, Lépine met Corot in Normandie, becoming his student the next year. The exact dates of his apprenticeship are vague; however, Lépine was acknowledged as Corot’s student in the 1866 Salon catalog. Lépine’s favorite subject to paint was the Seine and Corot’s influence on his artwork was evident from even before they met. Lépine’s Le Pont des Invalides, which was exhibited at the Salon in 1863, has striking characteristics that are similar to Corot’s paintings.
Quais of the Seine - Pont Marie
The Port of Caen
Le Canal de l'Ourcq en hiver
DeFaux first exhibited at the Salon in 1859, being cited as a pupil of Corot. His earliest works resemble the landscape compositions of Corot from the 1840′s and the sweeping countryside of Italy. DeFaux was one of the artists, like Corot, who painted the Forest of Fontainebleau and the small town of Barbizon.
Known to be a friend and student of Corot, Oudinot collaborated with the master to create Souvenir du Lac de Geneve during Corot’s late period. Oudinot eventually took over as teacher to Berthe Morisot.
In 1860 after making the decision of wanting to paint in nature, Morisot was passed on to study with Corot. He took on the role of mentor to Morisot and her sister, eventually becoming a close friend of the family. The summer of 1861 was spent with Corot at the Ville d’Avray, developing her style that contained attributes similar to Corot’s. Morisot’s Thatched Cottages has an indisputable resemblance to Corot’s approach. In 1864 when Morisot exhibited Souvenir Au Bord de L’Oise at the Salon, she was compared to Corot. She did not receive this acknowledgement well.
The Sisters, 1869
In 1866, after his first year at the Paris Salon, Corot took him in as a student. Sisley had been in Paris for several years and was becoming deeply affected by the Impressionist movement. Corot’s was an important part of Sisley’s painting technique, preserving an intense passion for the sky and winter snow, often combining the two to create exciting effect.
Boats on the Seine, 1877
Allee of Chestnut Trees, 1878
Other students who Corot is given credit as a major influence during some point in their career were: Dagnan-Bouveret, Marie-Guillaume Charles Leroux, François-Louis Français, Louis Aimé Japy, Monet, Marquet, and Renoir. Corot’s Lady in a Blue Dress was an undeniable inspiration for the latter.
Corot’s last studio on the Rue Paradis Poissonnière saw many students. While he tended to lean towards students who were linked with Impressionism or students that were thought of as pre-Impressionists, Corot did not forget his neo-classical roots. This was not a workshop, but more of an open door to pupils, models, and disciples. Corot, known for his giving nature, was always available for advice, encouragement, financial help, or favors. The students who studied with him varied, but the effect Corot had on them and their work lasted a lifetime.