Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Corot Weekend

This painting, a 20x28 oil on canvas, represents the view down Bergen Street as one approaches Washington Avenue after having gone past Grand Avenue in Brooklyn.  One can't miss the triangular shaped building on the corner of Bergen and Washington.

From Corot and The Art of Landscape by Michael Clarke, the best short book on Corot that I've found, comes another Corot anecdote:  "...Corot suffered an official rebuff from the art establishment when in 1865 the final choice for the Grand Medal of Honour at the Salon rested between one of his landscapes and a portrait of Emperor Napoleon III by Alexandre Cabanal (1824-89), an artist whose sanitized nudes, such as the famous Birth of Venus (Musee d'Orsay, Paris) of 1863, represented the height of fashionable taste at the time.  The verdict eventually went in Cabanal's favour after the twenty-sixth walk-through by the jury!"

This past weekend I visited the Corot gallery at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The room contains twenty-two (22) Corot paintings from all periods of his life, and most are masterpieces.  In addition two nearby rooms contained dozens of late 18th and early 19th century plein-air paintings done in Italy by Corot's colleagues, including two more Corots.

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