Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot

Paris 16 July 1796 - 1875 February 22


Rome from the Pincio, 1826-7, Modern Art, Dublin

Une matinee La danse des nymphes, 1850, Orsay, Paris

On The Terrace Steps, Modern Art, Dublin

Landscape Summer Morning, Modern Art, Dublin

The Fisherman, Modern Art, Dublin

The Punt, Modern Art, Dublin



July 16 Camille Corot was born in Paris at 125 Rue du Bac. His father Louis-Jacques Corot, a cloth merchant and his mother, nee Francoise Auberson, a very successful milliner. His father's family comes from Burgundy, his mother's from Switzerland (Canton of Fribourg). As a child he was put out to nurse at Presles, a village near L'Isle-Adam, to the north of Paris. He learnt to read in a boarding school in the Rue de Vaugirard, Paris.

1807 - 1812

Schooling at Rouen. Long walks in the country with Monsieur Sennegon, a friend of his parents who looked after the boy.

1812 - 1814

Finishes his education at a boarding school at Poissy, near Versailles.

His eldest sister Octavie married Sennegon's son Laurent-Denis in 1813.

1815 - 1822

Dreams of becoming a painter. Father apprentices him to the drapery business, first at Ratier's in the Rue de Richelieu, then at Delalain's in the Rue Saint-Honore. He attends drawing class in the evening at the Academie Suisse on the Quai des Orfevres. In 1817 his father buys a country house at Ville-d'Avray, near Versailles where Corot uses his bedroom as a studio.

1822 - 1825

Obtains permission to devote himself to painting and receives and allowance of 1500 livres a year which they had been giving to his younger sister Victoire-Anne Froment who died of grief after the loss of a child in September 1821.

Neoclassical training first under Michallon, then in the studio of Jean-Victor Bertin. First sketches from nature in and around Paris (Sevres, Saint-Cloud, Meudon), in the Fontainebleau Forest, in the Seine valley and on the Channel coast.


First decisive trip to Italy. Leaves Paris in autumn 1825 with friend Baehr by way of Lyons and Switzerland. Paints in Rome and the Roman Campagna. Becomes friendly with painters Caruelle d'Aligny and Edouard Bertin. Excursions in the Sabine hills (Civita Castellana, Narni, Papigno), trips to Tivoli and the Alban lakes (Albano, Nemi, Frascati, Genzano), Journey to Naples spring of 1828. Returns to Paris in September after a brief visit to Venice.


Paints at Fontainebleau and in Normandy and Brittany.


Paints on the Seine banks in Paris, at Chartres, in Normandy, and in northern France.


Burgundy, Auvergne, Morvan


Mostly works at Fontainebleau


Rouen, Soissons, Normandy. Awarded a second class medal at the Salon.


Second trip to Italy with the painter Grandjean. Leaves Paris end of May going by way of Lyons, Marseilles and the Riviera. Visits Genoa, Pisa, Volterra, Florence, Venice, the Lake of Garda and Lake Maggiore, returning October.


Stays in Auvergne, then at Avignon, with Marilhat, and in the neighborhood of Montpelliler.


Presents a painting, St Jerome to the church of Ville-d'Avray


Orleans, Villers-Cotteret (near Soissons), Compiegne.


Summer with friends, the Osmonds, at Rosny, near Mantes. At Royat, in Auvergne, meets the Lyonese painter Ravier.


Rony, Mantes (at the Roberts' home), Morvan. Little Shepard purchased by the State for the church of Rosny.


Morvan (Vezelay, Lormes, Saint-Andre)


Morvan, Jura, Switzerland (Geneva, Fribourg, Montreux, Vevey), Savoy (Mornex). Decorates the bathroom in the Roberts' home in Mantes. His Italian Landscape exhibited at the Salon, is purchased by the State for the Avignon Museum.


Third and last trip to Italy, from May to September or October, with painter Brizard. Works in and around Rome (Tivoli, Genzano, Nemi)


Paints Homer and the Shepards inspired by Andre Chenier poem. Presents it to the Saint-Lo Museum. Commissioned to paint a Baptism of Christ for the church of Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet in Paris.


Limousin, Fountainebleau, Normandy, Brittany. Given the Cross of the Legion of Honneur. Baudelaire and Champfleury both praise his work in articles.


Delacroix visits his studio in March. In May meets Constant Dutilleux, a collector and amateur painter who lives in Arras. He decorates the summer house in the garden of his parents villa at Ville-d'Avray. Father dies November 28.


Elected member of the selection committee of the Salon and awarded second-class medal. A second Italian Landscape is purchased by the State for the Douai Museum.


Douai and Normandy. Elected a member of the Salon jury. The State buys his Christ in the Garden of Olives for the Langres Museum.


His mother dies February 27. First of his annual visits to Dutilleux in Arras. Trips to Normandy, Brittany at La Rochelle and in Limousin.


With Dutilleux at Arras where he meets Dutilleux's future son-in-law, Alfred Robaut, who after Corot's death compiled the standard catalogue of his work and wrote a biography. Meets Daubigny in Dauphine and they travel together to Switzerland.


At Arras he begins experimenting with the new process of photographic etching. Again to Switzerland with Daubigny.


Late August and early September he makes a tour of Begium and Holland with Dutilleux (Brussels, Antwerp, Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam)


Exhibits successfully a the Paris World's Fair. The Emperor buys Corot's Souvenir of Marcoussis for his private collection. Hangs out in Arras, Douai, Normandy, Brittany, Switzerland, Sologne, Rosny, Mantes, Marcoussis, Magnyles-Hameaux.


Murals for the church of Ville-d'Avray. Arras, Normandy, Essonnes (near Chateau-Thierry)


Arras, Dunkirk, Beauvais, Saint-Lo, Mantes. In Switzerland at Dardagny (near Geneva) and at Gruyeres, where during his and other stays he decorates the drawing room of the castle. Evenings at the theatre and the Opera, where he makes many sketches. Attends the Pasdeloup concerts reguarily.


Decorations for Decamps' studio at Fontainebleau and Leon Fleury's house at Magny-les-Hameaux. Stays at Semur, Arras, La Ferte-Milon, Auvers-sur-Oise.


Arras, Rony, Normandy, Switzerland, Fontainebleau


Douai and Brittany. Dutilleux moves to Paris. Daubigny settles at Auvers-sur-Oise, where Corot pays him a visit.


Douai, Fontainebleau. Berthe Morisot becomes his pupil.


In July he spends a week in London. In September he meets Courbet in Saintonge, where they are both guests of a well to do collector at Port-Berteau, near Saintes.


Chateau-Thierry, Epernon, Flesselles, Switzerland


Member of the admission committee at the Salon


Spends June and July at Fontainebleau where he paints the dcorations commissioned for Prince Demidov's town-house in Paris. Death of Dutilleux. Trips to Arras, Douai, Marcoussis and in Limousin.


Napoleon III buys Corot's Solitude for the Empress's collection. Stays at Beauvais and Mantes. An attack of gout prevents him from traveling as much as usual. Many figure paintings.


Exhibits at the Paris World's Fair and is awarded a second class medal. Promoted to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor. Stays at Courbron, Marcoussis and Ville-d'Avray.


Corot and Daumier decorate Daubigny's house at Auvers-sur-Oise.


Works at Mantes and Ville-d'Avray.


Elected a member of the Salon jury.


Arras, Douai, Rouen. Robaut moves to Paris.


Again on the move: Beauvais, Fumay, Coubron, Arras, Douai, Rouen, Criqueboeuf, Yport, Marcoussis, Rueil, Luzancy, Argenteuil, Fontainebleau, Etretat, Mantes, Bordeaux and Les Landes.


Brunoy, Fontainebleau, Dunkirk, Gisors. Has a country studio built for himself at Coubron.


L'Isle-Adam, Coubron, Ville-d'Avray, Douai, Bethune. Death of his sister Octavie Sennegon on October 14, with whom he shared the house at Ville-d'Avray.


Death of Corot on February 22. I have to assume also at Ville-d'Avray?



1) Corot, Biographical and Critical Study, Jean Leymarie, trans from the French by Stuart Gilbert. Editions d'Art Albert Skira, Geneva, 1966.