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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara
Recommendation by Annie Buckley

The works of French painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875) have been widely admired by artists and collectors alike (and thus have also been widely copied). This small and nicely laid-out exhibition of works drawn exclusively from California collections hints at why Corot’s impact was so widespread, offering viewers a glimpse into the artist’s silver-grey world of delicately rendered trees and ghostly ruins, the clothing of bright-eyed peasants providing the only hints of vibrant color. The dozen-plus paintings and handful of prints and drawings included are accompanied by brief but informative texts, charmingly laden with quotations about Corot from intellectuals of his time, including Baudelaire and Zola. Situated between Neo-Classicism and Impressionism, Corot represents a transitional blend of these two seemingly opposing styles and his simultaneous commitment to both the real and the ideal is consistent throughout the works on view.

Published courtesy of ArtScene © 2009

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