Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot is an artist difficult to place in a single school, style or medium. He was an accomplished painter as well as a successful printmaker. He is frequently named as a leader of the Barbizon school of mid-nineteenth century landscape painting, but he also displayed influences from the Impressionist school and Neo-Classical traditions. Additionally, because many of his works were completed over a wide number of years, they can reflect several periods of the artist's life.
Regardless of the particular style or school of his works, he was a prolific artist who took his craft seriously. He got a late start in his artistic life, not entering into formal study until he was twenty-six years old. In fact, the painter did not have his first sale until he was more than fifty years old.
Corot found inspiration in the countryside and landscapes of France and Italy, and it is such images that are his most popular. He worked throughout the year in different locations - the winters saw him in his Paris studio and the "plein air" seasons which allowed him to work outdoors, saw him at home a Ville d'Avray, with his parents, or on a painting trip in the countryside. His studio work is often found to be technically superb, but lacking the purity and honesty of his outdoor work.
In a short period of time Corot had won the esteem of the art world as well as public popularity, and had earned a reputation as a kind and generous man. He won the French Legion of Honor in 1846, and long before the end of his life was acknowledged as the world's most celebrated landscape artist. For this reason his works are found in many of the world's most well known museums, including the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, and many others.