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Two hundred years after the birth of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875), 163 of the French artist's finest paintings have been brought together in an important exhibition that allows a public on both sides of the Atlantic to rediscover the riches and pleasures of his art. Corot, an original painter who produced a body of work of exceptional range, has been many things to many viewers. His silvery landscapes were adored by nineteenth-century collectors, and his sparkling sketches painted in plein air were later hailed as precursors of Impressionism. Art lovers have prized his figures paintings, the least well known and perhaps the most modern of all his works. Corot's long and prolific career coincided with major artistic developments: the flourishing of Neoclassical, Romantic, and Realist tendencies; the Barbizon school; the rise of Impressionism. Although he has been claimed at various times for each of these movements, Corot defies categorization. His art was fueled by a profound love of the natural world, and the vision he pursued was his own. This catalogue of the exhibition recounts the engrossing progress of his life and art.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The quintessential painter of poetic landscapes, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot is often pegged as the direct precursor of the impressionists, or as the last neoclassicist. A more complex sense of the great French innovator is conveyed in this beautiful catalogue of a major retrospective at Manhattan's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Special attention is given to Corot's dramatic history paintings, which made his reputation in the 1840s. He also emerges as an inventive figurative painter who reworked certain recurrent themes, such as oddly manipulated views or figures directly facing the spectator, disconcertingly reversing the roles of the observer and the observed. An interesting essay investigates the problem of hundreds of forgeries, complicated by Corot's peculiar habit of authenticating, retouching or signing spurious copies of his works. This revelatory study gives us the many sides of an artist who ultimately eludes attempts to decode his works. The authors are curators, respectively, at the Metropolitan, the National Gallery of Canada and the Louvre. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This magnificent scholarly exhibition catalog, which accompanies a retrospective commemorating the bicentennial of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot's birth, was compiled by leading curators at the host museums in Paris, New York, and Ottawa. Each author focuses insightfully on a chronological period in Corot's life and oeuvre, relating current Corot scholarship to the earliest work of Alfred Robaut and others. Vincent Pomarde (paintings, Muse du Louvre) and Michael Pantazzi (European paintings, National Gallery of Canada) also contributed two fascinating essays dealing with Corot forgeries and collectors, respectively. The beautiful reproductions of works exhibited illustrate the breadth of Corot's output, and black-and-white illustrations relate possible sources or complementary works. An essential purchase for academic and special libraries and strongly recommended for public libraries with large art holdings.-P. Steven Thomas, Illinois State Univ. Lib., Normal
Published to accompany a major exhibition of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot's paintings held in Paris and Ottawa during 1996, and forthcoming to New York. From nearly 3,000 paintings by this poetic 19th-century artist, the curators chose 163 works, which are reproduced here along with full art-historical discussions of each. Three major essays chronicle Corot's life and the development of his art; additional essays elucidate the subject of forgeries and describe the collecting of his works. Much original new scholarship is included along with a review of the scholarly literature, a concordance, and a chronology. 9.5x12.5<"> Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870997693
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Publication date: 1/1/1996
  • Pages: 479

Table of Contents

Lenders to the Exhibition
Note to the Reader
1821-34 The Making of An Artist 2
Catalogue: 1-60 30
1835-58 The Greatest Landscape Painter of Our Time 138
Catalogue: 61-114 154
1859-75 Le Pere Corot: The Very Poet of Landscape 256
Catalogue: 115-163 274
Corot Forgeries: Is the Artist Responsible? 383
Corot and His Collectors 397
Chronology 409
Bibliography 419
Concordance of Catalogued Works 451
Index of Cited Works 453
Index of Former Owners 458
General Index 461
Photograph Credits 479
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