JEAN BAPTISTE CAMILLE COROT,Vintage Art Masterpieces,Vintage Prints for Sale La Rochelle by JEAN BAPTISTE CAMILLE COROT {French School}

La Rochelle by JEAN BAPTISTE CAMILLE COROT {French School}

La RochelleLa Rochelle

by JEAN BAPTISTE CAMILLE COROT {French School}

 

COROT, the happiest of painters, was born in the midst of the French Revolu­
tion, but the paroxysm left no mark upon him. In politics a conservative; in
art, a disciple of Claude, this simplehearted, generous man lived his four­
score years in that blissful state of nature apostrophized by Rousseau.

He
wandered through life without a care, or an enemy, a gypsying dreamer-and
incidentally a terrific worker producing some twenty-five hundred canvases­
and when, at last, the journey was over he said, with a faith that amused his
Bohemian friends, “that he hoped to go on painting in heaven.”

 

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To him the
antique was a closed book, and he set little store by the Renaissance masters;
he traveled in Italy, but only to study the landscape, shutting his eyes on the
celebrated wonders, and refusing to enter the Sistine Chapel. He painted with
a song on his lips, for the joy of it, striving neither to be famous nor astonishing.

Unquestionably Corot’s great work was done in his early years. In his first
period, he painted both in Italy and in France those lucid and uncluttered land­
scapes known to students as classical compositions, though he never thought
of them as classical-e-landscapes which, by reason of their firmness of struc­
ture, their tranquillity and dignity, communicate his strongest and most con­
trolled feelings before nature.

Those masculine conceptions hidden until re­
cently in private collections are not so widely known as the more popular work
of his later years-the bowers of gray and silver, the filmy leafage painted
under the influence of photography. Corot never regained the artistry of his
first period; he made an effort to return to it, but his photographic pictures
brought him a handsome income and he was princely in his benefactions to
the indigent members of his profession.

La Rochelle was painted in 1851, after the death of his mother. Robustly
constituted, the grief-stricken Corot wandered along the western seacoast of
France to the ancient port of La Rochelle out of which he made a stainless har­
mony of light, sea, and sky.

Apparently effortless in its structure and its scat­
tered figures, the picture was carefully designed to preserve the quiet atmos­
phere of the old town, and to fulfill Corot’s dream of a permanent landscape
which, like those he had seen in Italy, was immune to the accidents of time
and fashion.

 

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