Corot 1796-1875: Biographical Dates

1796: Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot's birth

1825: First voyage in Italy

1830: Chartres cathedral

1834: Second voyage in Italy

1875: Corot dies


Corot is born in Paris on July 16 at number 125 rue du Bac. His mother, of Swiss origin, owns a fashion shop of high repute in Paris. His father, who is from Burgundy, manages the financial and logistical side of the business. Corot has two sisters: Annette-Octavie and Victoire-Anne. He is brought up by a wet nurse in Presles until the age of four. Throughout the rest of his life he was never to lose affectionate contact with his foster sister. He is sent to boarding school between the ages of about seven or eight and eleven in the Rue de Vaugirard in Paris, taught by Maître Letellier.


Corot goes to secondary school in Rouen. A friend of his father, Mr. •Sennegon•, living in the little village of Bois-Guillaume, in the suburbs of Rouen, is in loco parentis.


After some difficulties at school in Rouen, he is sent to boarding school in Poissy for the time necessary to finish his secondary education.


Corot is placed as an apprentice draper with a Mr. Ratier, and becomes the friend of the nephew of his employer, Alexandre Clérambault. He then moves to another draper's merchant, Delalain, becoming a friend of this family. He was later to paint portraits of all the professional connections of his youth. It is during this period that he learns to draw and seemed to be increasingly interested in painting.


His parents buy the property at •Ville d'Avray• (a folly built by a financier in the Eighteenth Century). It is at this time Corot that may have made the acquaintance of •Michallon•, later his teacher.


His parents give him permission to devote all his time to painting. He is twenty-six years old. He immediately enrols at the studio of Achille-Etna Michallon (1796 - 1822). Michallon encourages him to work en plein air, in Saint-Cloud, in the forest of Fontainebleau and even in Normandy, and to paint the natural world "naïvement", meaning with "unaffected simplicity". Following Michallon's death, he moves to the studio of Jean-Victor Bertin (1767-1842). His younger sister Victoire-Anne dies and Corot's father transfers her annuity to Corot (1,500 livres), which enables him to finance his studies. August: He goes on his first landscape painting trip to Normandy, staying with his friends the Sennegon family in Bois-Guillaume, near Rouen.


Beginning of the first journey to Italy. He takes lodgings in Rome in December 1825. Throughout his entire sojourn in Italy, he keeps up affectionate and humorous correspondence with one of his childhood friends Abel Osmond.
September: Leaves for Italy with his friend the painter Behr.
October: The two men stop over in Lausanne.
December: They arrive in •Rome• and rent a room near the Piazza di Spagna


May: Corot leaves Rome and travels up the Tiber toward the Sabine mountains.
June-July: Civita Castellana, Viterbo, Castel Sant'Elia
August-September: Papigno, Terni, Piediluco and Narni.
October: Return to Rome
November: Travels around lakes Albano and Nemi : Rocca di Papa, Ariccia, Frascati, Marino.
December: Living and painting in Tivoli


Spring: Travels to •Naples•, goes up Vesuvius, and journeys to Capri and Ischia Returns to Rome before travelling back to France via Venice, the great Alpine lakes and Switzerland.


During the July troubles, he leaves Paris and journeys to Chartres with the architect Poirot, and then goes on to the Normandy coast and toward the •North• (Dunkirk, Boulogne, Bergues, Saint Omer, etc.). He does his study of Chartres Cathedral at this time (Paris, Louvre Museum).

Find the suite of the biographical dates in the CD-ROM Corot


January 9 to 25: at Coubron.
February 22: Corot dies.
February 25: he is buried in Père Lachaise cemetery, after a funeral ceremony at Saint-Eugène, in the Rue Sainte Cécile. His paintings Woodcutters' wives, Pleasures of evening and Biblis are hung at the •Salon• posthumously.

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