Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for today: Corot Fontainebleau landscape

Forest of Fontainebleau, Jean-Baptiste-Camille

Link is to zoomable image on Google Art Project; downloadable file on Wikimedia Commons; Original is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Corot entered this painting in the Paris Salon of 1846, and it became the first officially recognized pure landscape in French painting — without historical or mythological subject or other noble human activity as was traditionally required.

Corot based this studio work on location studies in the forest of Fontainebleau, where he had been painting for some 20 years.

His work there paved the way for the plein air paintungs of the Barbizon school, and later, Monet and the other Impressionists.


8 responses to “Eye Candy for today: Corot Fontainebleau landscape”

  1. Can’t say Corot dislikes his ‘greens’.
    Thanks, Charley.

  2. Théophile Thoré (-Burger), art critic, found Corot’s painting colourless.
    Colourblind perhaps?

  3. I mean citoyenThoré, aka W(illiam) Bürger.
    I love Corot’s palette.

    1. Interesting article. Thanks, ælle.

  4. What I personally love in landscape paintings is colors. Artist can use wide range of gamut any time. Playing with Nature’s colors is endless process.
    Thanks for the great article, Charley!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Valerie. I think Corot’s color choices are particularly subtle.

  5. Richard Sica Avatar
    Richard Sica

    It’s interesting that you show one of Corot’s early landscapes. When I was working at the gallery the joke was that there were 5000 paintings by Corot with 3000 fakes. Rabaut’s catalog raisonne was considered a bible.
    However in light of the recent Knoedler Gallery scandal and the so called Christies “Leonardo” sale it seems that all of the art expert opinions for sale.

    1. Seems that way. I think most of the Corot fakes are from his middle period, with the softly feathered tree forms. As much as I like those sometimes, my favorites are his more direct early works, in which I think he presaged not only Impressionism, but contemporary plein air and “painterly realist” styles.