Grands arbres dominant la berge d'une rivière, 1855
oil on canvas
36.2 x 44.5 cm
On long-term loan from The Winnipeg Foundation; Bequest of Kathleen Burrows Lightcap
One of the founders of the Barbizon school, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot played a crucial role in the development of nineteenth-century French landscape painting. After studying in Paris and Rome, he settled near the forest of Fontainebleau where he dedicated himself to painting outdoors or en plein air. This wooded landscape painting from the 1850s represents one in a series of poetic landscape compositions or souvenirs that he created largely from memory. Suffused with tonal harmonies and a distinctive silvery atmosphere, the WAG picture reveals Corot’s highly personal painting technique. A combination of transparent washes and subtle passages of impasto, where the paint is applied with brush and palette knife, demonstrate the way in which he worked to capture momentary impressions of light and shadow.