Souvenir of Mortefontaine – (Jean Baptiste Camille Corot) Previous Next


Style: Realism

Topic: Landscape

Technique: Oil

Souvenir de Mortefontaine (Recollection of Mortefontaine) is a 1864 oil-on-canvas painting by French artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. It is a scene of tranquillity: a woman and children quietly enjoying themselves by a glass-flat, tree-flanked lake. Generally acknowledged as one of his masterpieces, it is among the most successful of Corot's later, more poetic works. The painting captures an idealized scene while still drawing from the real world. Corot's early painting showed Realist leanings, but as his career progressed he began to combine more Romantic elements, and his works are often viewed as a bridge between Realism and the evolving Impressionist movement. Souvenir de Mortefontaine verges on the Impressionistic, with the lake and landscape captured by broad rather than detailed strokes and Corot's careful attention to the play of light within the scene, though the brushwork is precise and the painting has a more muted palette than the bright colours favoured by the Impressionists. The indistinct features are reminiscent of the blurry details of early landscape photography; Corot had a large collection of these photographs and may have been attempting to recreate the effect in paint.

This artwork is in the public domain.


Jean Baptiste Camille Corot


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