Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

20 06 2015

Landscape painting has always intrigued me. There used to be a lot of it. And a lot of it, I would suggest, is bad. Often it is sentimental. A yearning for a world that doesn’t exist. Corot’s paintings appear that way to me. Except that living in Belgium for several years I did see these scenes. My father-in-law paintings look like these. Corot’s trees look wispy. Like those cleaners that people use to clear the dust and dirt high in room walls or in chandeliers. The colours are muted. But the pics are of ordinary calm days with only a slight breeze.

This is the kind of art that most people would identify as “art”. There is no other way of saying it, but it is boring. But, it is invaluable as a document of rural life in the 19th century and the moment, no matter how banal.

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French: [ʒɑ̃ ba.tist ka.mij kɔ.ʁo]; July 16, 1796[1] – February 22, 1875) was a French landscape and portrait painter as well as a printmaker in etching. He is a pivotal figure in landscape painting and his vast output simultaneously references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism.


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