Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875)

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot is best known for his landscape and portrait paintings and etchings. His oil sketches are notable for their technical freedom and crisp color. When he first began painting, the landscape sketch was mostly seen as a starting point for more thoughtful work, but Corot helped pivot this genre into a serious art form in its own right.

Corot was the son of a successful cloth merchant and milliner who created stylish looks for French society. Deciding to devote himself to painting, he studied at Collège de Rouen and then toured Italy for inspiration. He would continue to paint in the open air as he toured Europe and add mythological and allegorical details in his studio. Corot focused on mood and memory in landscape instead of capturing a factual and detailed topography. His works would later greatly inspire the Impressionists.