b. Paris, 1796 - d. Paris, 1875
Jean Baptiste Camille Corot, a 19th century French master of landscape painting, studied under Jean Victor Bertin at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. His greatest teacher was, however, nature, particularly Ile-de-France and the surroundings of Paris. On his visits to Italy in the late 1820s, Corot discovered the effects of clear and bright light, but back in France he resumed painting the dawns and twilights of Ille-de-France. In his notebook, Corot wrote about his guiding principles, including this injunction: "…keep in view the mass, the whole, that has caught one's eye, and never lose the first impression which quickened your emotion!" To ensure homogeneity of texture, Corot added a little white paint to all his colors, even to black. Subtle gradations of gray, rhythmically applied, endowed his works with a musical quality. Corot was greatly esteemed by younger painters and critics. The Impressionists were deeply indebted to him, and Corot backed their paintings when he became a member of the Salon Jury.