Jean Baptiste Camille Corot is born in Paris on the Quai Voltaire overlooking the Seine River during the regime of the French Directoire.
Attends a primary school in the Rue Vaugirard, Paris.
Lives in the village of Rouen and attends the College of Rouen for his secondary school studies, under the charge of the Sennegon family.
Finishes his formal education at a boarding school in Poissy near Paris.
Serves as an apprentice draper with cloth merchants under the direction of his father.
Beginning this year, in the evenings, Camille attends the Academie Suisse art school on the Quai des Orfevres, Paris.
His father purchases a country house at Ville-d’Avray which will become one of Camille’s homes for the rest of his life, sharing ownership with his sister’s family, after the death of their parents.
Becomes a student in the atelier of Achille-Etna Michallon, a historical landscape painter. This mentor has a great influence on Corot’s career. His drawing lessons include tracing lithographs, copying three-dimensional forms, making landscape sketches and painting outdoors, especially in the forest of Fontainebleau, the seaports along Normandy, the villages west of Paris, and at his own home in Ville-d’Avray.
Takes his first painting trip, visiting the Sennegon family in Rouen, also painting many scenes from Bois-Guillaume, Le Havre and Dieppe.
After this trip, at the age of 26, and much coaxing with his father, an allowance of 1500 francs per year, previously established for Camille’ sister, who is now deceased, transfers to Corot. This will support his artistic career for the remainder of his life.
Sets up his first artist studio at 15 Quai Voltaire near his family in the neighborhood of the Seine River. After the death of his teacher, Michallon, Corot moves to the studio of Jean-Victor Bertin, a classical method landscape artist. Corot combines the Neoclassicism of Bertin with Northern French Realism during this early period of painting.
Sketches Woman of Dieppe, paper mounted on canvas, 11 x 6 ¼ inches.
Corot begins viewing and studying the works shown by other artists at the Salon and exhibited at The Louvre. He intensively absorbs the English landscape painters, Copley, Fielding, Bonington and Constable, whose works are new in the1824 Salon.
Toward the end of this year, Corot leaves for his first Italian trip, traveling with another student artist from Bertin’s studio. He tours through Switzerland in October, arriving in Rome in December. Corot stays in Italy for three years, dividing his time between Rome, Naples, Papigno, and Nera.
Paints Italian Peasant Boy, oil on canvas, 10 x 12 7/8 inches.
Paints The Colosseum Seen from the Farnese Gardens, oil on paper mounted canvas, 11 x 18 7/8 inches; View From the Farnese Gardens, Rome, oil on canvas, 9 ½ x 15 ¾ inches; The Forum Seen From the Farnese Gardens, oil on paper mounted on canvas, 11 x 19 3/8 inches.
Sends his first salon entries, The Bridge at Narni, oil on canvas, 14 1/8 x 19 5/8 inches, and the La Cervara: Campagne de Rome, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches, from Rome back to Paris to be exhibited in the French Salon of 1827.
Returns from Italy to work in his studio in Paris during the winter, then travels and paints throughout the summer in Fontainebleau, Chartres, Normandy, and Brittany.
Paints Portrait of Abel Osmond, oil on canvas, 20 ¾ x 17 ¼ inches.
The French Revolution drives him out of Paris, taking refuge in Chartres, where he executes two drawings, one in oil and one in pencil, of the Chartres Cathedral.
Paints The Forest of Fontainebleau, oil on canvas, 69 1/8 x 95 ½ inches, and Mlle Alexina Ledoux, oil on canvas, 14 1/8 x 10 5/8 inches.
Exhibits Ford in the Forest of Fontainebleau at the French Salon for which he receives his first official award, a second class medal.
Corot takes his second trip to Italy, travels in November to Genoa, Florence and Venice. Executes View of Genoa, from the Promanade of Acqua Sola and View of the Grand Canal and Santa Maria della Salute.
Creates applause at the Salon with his large biblical landscape, Hagar in the Wilderness. This second Italian journey also produces the View of Florence from the Boboli Gardens, oil on canvas, 20 1/8 x 29 1/8 inches, which also receives accolades from the Salon and now hangs in The Louvre.
Paints many decorative wall murals in homes of his friends throughout rural France.
Corot gives Saint Jerometo the church at Ville-d’Avray.
Paints Flight into Egypt for the church in Rosny. Tours and paints during the summer in Morvan, completes Mon Agaar, pencil on white paper, 7 ¼ x 6 inches.
Corot tours for the last time in Italy, lasting less than two years, executing La Marietta and Homer and the Shepherds.He also paints The Waterfalls at Terni, oil on canvas, 14 3/16 x 12 5/8 inches. This year is the beginning of Corot’s extensive portraiture painting, especially of children, one his favorite subjects.
Corot receives an official commission for the Baptism of Christ, which is to decorate a chapel at the Church of Saint-Nicolas-du-Chardonnet in Paris.
Exhibits Homer and the Shepherds at the Salon and causes a veritable sensation for which he receives the Cross of the Legion of Honor, the highest French award given by that institution.
Paints Forest of Fontainebleau, oil on canvas, 35 ¾ x 51 inches.
Paints Monk Reading by a River Bed, oil on canvas, 45 ¾ x 35 ¼ inches.
Exhibits Morning: Dance of the Nymphs. The figures shown in his poetic compositions painted during this time period were taken from his sketches, drawn while attending the Opera and the Comedie-Francaise several nights every week.
Begins producing a long range of large figure paintings at the same time he continues his landscape artworks. Paints View of Saint-Lo. oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 25¼ inches.
Corot’s mother passes away, leading him to live with his friend Constant Dutilleux and his family at Arras, where he meets Alfred Robaut, who will eventually become his official biographer.
His friend, Constant Dutilleux, a lithographer, opens up his experimentation with the new art form, cliché-verre.
Executes The Young Girl and Death, salt print, 7 3/16 x 5 ¼ inches.
Finally by this year, he is receiving highly paid commissions for his paintings, providing him with financial security for the remainder of his life.
Pissarro, among many others, becomes a pupil of Corot’s at this time. Brief biographies and works executed by his many followers can be viewed in our segment, “Circle of Corot.”
Napoleon III purchases Recollection of Marcoussis. Paints Diana’s Bath, oil on canvas, 66 1/8 x 101 1/8 inches and Reclining Nymph.
Executes The Little Shepherd, as a glass plate negative, 15 x 12 inches.
Paints Mother Protecting Her Child, oil on canvas, 20 x 14 ¼ inches. Utilizes the technique cliché-verre to create The Gardens of Horace, Souvenir of Ostia, and The Banks of the Po River.
Paints Honfleur-View of the Sea Through the Trees, oil on canvas, 22 7/8 x 15 3/8 inches.
Produces Lunch in the Clearing, a monotype.
Paints Dante and Vergil Entering in the Inferno, oil on canvas, 101 ½ x 66 ¼ inches.
Paints Mother and Child on the Beach, oil on canvas, 14 7/8 x 18 1/8 inches, one of his rare group subject pieces.
Corot begins a series of paintings titled The Artists Studio, which feature women daydreaming in front of a canvas on an easel. He paints multiple canvases of this image with very slight variations as can be seen in several of The Studio: Young Woman with a Mandolin.
Paints Recollection of Mortefontaine, oil on canvas, 25 5/8 x 35 inches, one of Corot’s most successful paintings, purchased by the French government.
Corot paints Orpheus Greeting the Light and Diana Sleeping, commissioned for the drawing room of Prince Demidov. Paints The Muse-Comedy, oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 13 7/8 inches.
Draws Remembrance of Lake Nemi, charcoal on laid buff paper, 6 ½ x 9 7/8 inches. Paints The Interrupted Reading, oil on canvas. During this period, Corot executes his silvery toned Souvenir Series.
Paints Greek Girl, oil on canvas, 20 ½ x 15 ½ inches, and Woman with a Pearl, oil on canvas, 27 5/8 x 21 5/8 inches. It’s a mystery why the image on the forehead is called a pearl, as it is in reality, a small leaf.
Travels to Douai, executes two paintings, Bridge at Mantes and The Belfrey of Douai, regarded as peaks in his production. He is very aware of this fact, as he wrote on May 8, 1871, “I am putting the final touches on “The Belfrey of Douai ….it’s terrific.”
Paints L’Albanasie, oil on canvas, 29 3/8 x 25 5/8 inches. Corot continues his travels, spending time in Arras, Rouen, Yport, Paris, Bordeaux, Les Landes, and Coubron.
Corot sets up a rural artist studio in Coubron.
Paints Lady in Blue, oil on canvas, 31 ½ x 19 5/8 inches. Last known full length figure painting, and the one said to have had a great influence on Renoir.
Corot dies on February 22 in Ville-d’Avray with his finest companion at his bedside, Alfred Robaut.
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