10/28/14 corot / by Philip Tarlow

A Rising Path: Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (1796-1875), c.1845, oil on canvas, 17.8 x 28.6 cm (private collection)

corot is one of my favorite french 19th c. landscape painters, but only his italian periods interest me. this is a plein air painting, executed on corot's third trip to italy, which opened his eyes to the beauty of italian light. it is what i would call "pure painting," in that his strokes are very gestural and, limited as he was by the constraints of painting outdoors, it's done in one sitting, in an intense burst of activity. corot was obviously excited by the rich shadow he painted in the foreground. the painting is, in my opinion, more powerful exactly because it's not an especially picturesque or significant subject.

it was 20 F when we left crestone this morning. denver is a chilly 50 F.