Painter, portrait painter, landscape painter, draughtsman, lithographer, commercial artist (male), etcher, copperplate engraver and clothier
Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot is considered one of the most important French landscape painters of his time. Born in Paris in 1796, he was raised in a middle-class family in Rouen. He abandoned an apprenticeship as a draper to devote himself entirely to painting from 1822 on. Corot sought out recognised landscape painters as teachers, but he never pursued a classical academic education. Upon the advice of his first teacher Achille-Etna Michallon (1796–1822), he soon began to work outdoors. He painted and drew in nature, among other places in the surroundings of Rouen and Paris as well as in the Barbizon woods. From 1825 to 1828, he travelled to Italy, where he returned twice more in the years to come. His depictions of Italian and French landscapes show a subtle sense of light and atmosphere. From 1827, Corot regularly exhibited landscapes with mythological or biblical scenes at the Paris Salon. At the same time, he painted portraits of friends and relatives. Corot started to become extremely successful from the 1840s onwards – his works were praised by critics and sold well. He also received state recognition by being admitted to the Legion of Honour. As of 1850, he increasingly painted atmospheric idylls bathed in silvery light. Corot died in Paris in 1875. His work influenced painters of the Barbizon School such as Jean-François Millet, Théodore Rousseau and Charles-François Daubigny. His best-known pupil was Camille Pissarro.