COROT, artist quotes & biography facts of the painter of French landscape
CAMILLE COROT (1796 -1875) was a French painter, famous for his subtle landscape paintings and his steady portraits of young women. Corot had strong influence on later Impressionist landscape painters like Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot and Cezanne who loved the tenderness of his atmospheric paintings. A lot of his art quotes here are taken from Corot’s ‘Notebooks’.
* At the bottom biography facts & art links for Camille Corot. When you enjoy his quotes, please share them on Facebook, Google +1 or Twitter; – the editor.
Corot: ‘Oak Valley’, oil painting, 1871
CAMILLE COROT, his quotes on landscape painting art; French Barbizon painter
- I have learned from experience that it is useful to begin by drawing one’s picture clearly on a virgin canvas, first having noted the desired effect on a white or gray paper, and then to do the picture section by section, as immediately finished as one can, so that when it has all been covered there is very little to retouch. I have noticed that whatever is finished at one sitting is fresher, better drawn, and profits more from many lucky accidents, while when one retouches this initial harmonious glow is lost. I think that this method is particularly good for foliage, which needs a good deal of freedom. (quote ca. 1828)
* Camille Corot, source of his artist quotes on landscape painting, art & life: his Notebooks, as quoted in “Artists on Art – from the 14th – 20th centuries”, ed. by Robert Goldwater and Marco Treves; Pantheon Books, 1972, London, pp. 239 – 240 (famous Barbizon painter of French landscape and young women portraits; Corot also made many drawings and etchings; more biography facts below)
- The first two things to study are form and values. For me, these are the bases of what is serious art. Color and finish put charm into one’s work… …it seems to me very important to begin by an indication of the darkest values (assuming that the canvas is white), and to continue in order to the lightest value. From the darkest to the lightest I would establish twenty shades… …Never lose sight of that first impression by which you were moved. Begin by determining your composition. Then the values – the relation of the forms to the values. These are the basis. Then the color, and finally the finish. (ca. 1828)
* Corot’s artist quote on form and dark and light values, from: his Notebooks, as quoted in “Artists on Art – from the 14th – 20th centuries”, ed. by Robert Goldwater and Marco Treves; Pantheon Books, 1972, London, p. 240
- I am never in a hurry to reach details. First and above all I am interested in the large masses and the general character of a picture; when these are well established, then I try for subtleties of form and color. I rework the painting constantly and freely, and without any systematic method. (ca. 1850)
* artist quote on his technique of landscape painting: the large masses and the general character of a picture, from: his Notebooks, as quoted in “Artists on Art – from the 14th – 20th centuries”, ed. by Robert Goldwater and Marco Treves; Pantheon Books, 1972, London, pp. 240 – 241
- Be guided by feeling alone. We are only simple mortals, subject to error; so listen to the advice of others, but follow only what you understand and can unite in your own feeling. (ca. 1856)
* Camille Corot’s advice to followers, quoted from: his Notebooks, as quoted in “Artists on Art – from the 14th – 20th centuries”, ed. by Robert Goldwater and Marco Treves; Pantheon Books, 1972, London, p. 241
- Beauty in art is truth bathed in an impression received from nature. I am struck upon seeing a certain place. While I strive for a conscientious imitation, I yet never for an instant lose the emotion that has taken hold of me. Reality is one part of art; feeling completes it… …Before any site and any object, abandon yourself to your first impression. If you have really been touched, you will convey to others the sincerity of your emotion (ca. 1856)
* artist quote on the beauty in art by Nature and the important role of emotion in painting, from: his Notebooks, as quoted in “Artists on Art – from the 14th – 20th centuries”, ed. by Robert Goldwater and Marco Treves; Pantheon Books, 1972, London, p. 241
- You know, a landscape painter’s day is delightful. You get up early, at three o’clock in the morning, before sunrise; you go and sit under a tree; you watch and wait. At first there is nothing much to be seen. Nature looks like a whitish canvas with a few broad outlines faintly sketched in; all is misty, everything quivers in the cool dawn breeze. The sky lights up. The sun has not yet burst through the gauze veil that hides the meadow, the little valley, the hill on the horizon.. ..Ah, a first ray of sunshine! (description of the beginning of a landscape-painter’s day, Switzerland, Château de Gruyères, 1857, fh)
* source of his artist quote on landscape painting: ”Letters of the great artists – from Blake to Pollock”, Richard Friedenthal, Thames and Hudson, London, 1963
- The whole landscape lies behind the transparent gauze of the fog that now rises, drawn upwards by the sun, and as it rises, reveals the silver-spangled river, the fields, the cottages, the further scene. At last one can discern all that one could only guess at before.. ..The sun is up! There is a peasant at the end of the field, with his wagon drawn by a yoke of oxen.. .. Everything is bursting into life, sparkling in the full light – light, which as yet is still soft and golden. The background, simple in line and harmonious in colour, melts into the infinite expanse of sky, through the bluish, misty atmosphere. The flowers raise their heads the birds flutter hither and thither.. ..The little rounded willows on the bank of the stream look like birds spreading their tails. It’s adorable! And one paints! And paints! (description of a landscape painter’s day, Switzerland, Château de Gruyères, 1857,fh)
* Camille Corot’s description of a landscape painter day: ”Letters of the great artists – from Blake to Pollock -”, Richard Friedenthal, Thames and Hudson, London, 1963 (famous Barbizon painter of landscape and portraits; Corot also made many drawings and etching; more biography facts below)
not sourced artist quotes by the French artist Corot
- If my time has come I shall have nothing to complain of. For fifty-tree years I have been painting; so I have been able to devote myself entirely to what I loved best in the world. I had never suffered poverty; I had good parents and excellent friends; I can only thank God. (life quote of Camille Corot, from a letter to his friend M. Francais, written in the year of his death, 1875, fh)
Camille Corot’s artist quotes??
editor Fons Heijnsbroek
Biography and history facts about the French artist Camille Corot
Camille Corot was a French landscape painter, respected in Paris and France during the 19th century. His painting art simultaneously refers to neo-classical art and anticipates the plein-air painting innovations. By the mid-1850s, Corot’s increasingly impressionistic style began to get broad recognition in France, but later in his life Corot never agreed with the use of broken colors by the young Impressionist artists. Neither did Corot really belong to the ‘rough’ Barbizon painters like Daubigny, Troyon, Diaz and Rousseau.
The poet Baudelaire, who admired and loved Corot’s subtle harmonies, wrote in one of his famous ‘Salons’ that the painter Rousseau (Barbizon) was possessed too much by devils, whereas Corot was possessed too little. And indeed, most landscape paintings by Corot have a very gentle, silver, calm and tender atmosphere; most of them are painted in soft colors, and unaffectedly. The famous portraits Corot painted of the young girls from the country are much more composed (these portraits were strongly admired by Georges Braque the Cubist, who used them as model for his paintings, fh). Later in his life Corot became a famous painter and teacher in Paris. Corot’s studio was filled with students, models, friends, collectors, and dealers who came and went; he supported a lot of other artists financially; in 1872 he bought a house in Auvers as a gift for Honoré Daumier, who by then was blind, without resources, and homeless. In 1875 he donated 10.000 francs to the widow of Millet in support of her children.
links for more information on Corot
Some paintings and pictures by Camille Corot
‘Fontainebleau; the raging One’, oil painting by Corot, 1830
‘Lake Como and the town’, oil painting by Corot, 1834
‘Goatherd and village’, oil painting by Corot, 1843
‘The vale’, landscape oil painting by Corot, 1855 -1860
‘Landscape with windy weather’, oil painting by Corot, 1875