Reclining Nymph, 1855
Mastering the use of expressive light cleared a path for Impressionists to view Corot as an important teacher for their movement. He was certainly considered to be so, judging by a remark made by Monet, at age sixty, to an art connoisseur who had expressed great pleasure to be viewing so many Impressionist Masters’ works at one gathering.
Monet replied to him, “There is only one Master here….. Corot.”
Besides his well-known landscapes, Corot painted figures as well. His nudes are often overlooked, but they are of the highest quality. Carot’s nudes evoke a guileless essence bathed in their vaporous fairy-like expressions.
He idealized love, yet in a very acceptably credible fashion, by making the atmosphere the symbol. Cloaked in this euphoric magic, his women, painted in the 1860′s, take on the most incandescent loveliness. Two of his finest artworks, placing nudes in harmonious landscapes, are the Reclining Nymph, painted in 1955, and A Nymph Playing with Cupid, painted and shown in the Salon in 1857. It was the final effect of the figure he first dreamed and rendered many years earlier.
In 1830, he began creating many portraits of family and friends, which were usually produced on small canvases. During the years 1843 and 1857, one of his main subjects was young children. In this period, Corot painted one of his most successful portraits of a young boy. Maurice Robert as a Child, showing Camille’s ability to execute the frailty and vulnerability of childhood. In 1850, Corot began to paint large-scale figures, creating one of his most celebrated half-length portraits, Mille de Foudras. In the latter years of his career, Corot actually painted most of his portraits in his studio on Rue Paradis, his last working studio in Paris.
A Nymph Playing with Cupid, 1857
Maurice Robert as a Child, 1857
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