Happy Birthday Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot!

Happy birthday to Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, born July 16, 1796 in Paris! The members of the Corot family were not artists by trade, working instead as retailers at a dress shop they owned in Paris. Jean-Baptiste-Camille, following suit, worked as a drape salesman while studying at the Swiss Academy in 1817; however, he knew his true interests lay in painting. In 1822, he succeeded in persuading his father to grant him a sizeable allowance that gave him the freedom to devote his time to artistic study.

Corot was an avid traveler, often leaving Paris for such locales as Normandy, Brittany and Italy. He was perhaps most enamored with the last of the three, visiting the country on three separate occasions and often creating works inspired by the beauty of the Italian countryside. La Cervara, the Roman Campagna, composed c. 1830-1831, is one such work.

oil on fabric, Framed - h:130.00 w:167.50 d:9.50 cm (h:51 1/8 w:65 15/16 d:3 11/16 inches) Unframed - h:97.60 w:135.80 cm (h:38 3/8 w:53 7/16 inches). Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund


For outdoor scenes such as this, Corot would utilize drawings and oil sketches to capture the landscape's initial form and tonal essence. These drawings and sketches would later serve as foundations for the final paintings he would execute in studio. His neo-classical training is evident in the this painting’s highly structured composition, reminiscent of the classical landscapes of 17th-century painter Nicholas Poussin. You can find La Cervara, the Roman Campagna on view at The Cleveland Museum of Art in Gallery 219. 


Guest Author

Benjamin Francisco

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Benjamin Francisco is a Cello Performance major at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, and an intern in the Communications and Marketing Department at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

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