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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
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Landscape painter. Father was a draper. Mother was a very successful milliner of Swiss origin. After apprenticing with a draper, he was allowed by his parents to pursue his ambitions in art, and from 1822 to 1824 he studied landscape painting with Achille-Etna Michallon and Jean-Victor Bertin. In the classical tradition, he went to Italy to study in 1825 where he remained for three years, painting together with Theodore Caruelle d'Aligny and working mostly out-of-doors on oil sketches. Here he developed the serene, fresh landscape style that became his hallmark, although he continued throughout his life to produce paintings for the Salons in a more traditional and classical vein. Corot returned to Italy in 1834 and 1843 and also traveled to Switzerland, Holland, and England. Although he exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1827, he achieved critical success and official patronage only in the later 1840s and 1850s. He was awarded the Legion of Honor in 1846. In the early 1850s, Corot's work underwent a transformation from sharply observed studies of nature and light to a more diffused, Iyrical, loosely brushed mode. He spent his later years mostly at the family's country estate in Ville-d'Avray.