Monday, February 20, 2006

a brush with corot
I’ve decided that an artist I must study more closely is Corot. I made this decision after watching Tim Marlow’s recent Channel 5 broadcast from the Bowes Museum. A small landscape by Corot, ‘Landscape with Cattle’ grabbed my attention when Tim Marlow introduced it. Though probably painted as a study ‘en plein air’ the direct manner he adopts was daring for its time.

I admired the way he brushed a heavy application of almost white paint into the negative spaces created by the tree trunks. With a few brush marks he adjusted the tone of the sky and brought the trees forward. It is easy to see why he was admired by the Impressionists. Corot’s classical training manifested itself by the way he rendered the light foliage in the middle distance. Delicate flicks of light green paint moving across the picture – leaves caught by a light breeze perhaps? By comparison the brushwork of the majority of the Impressionists looks quite clumsy.

Corot: 'Landscape with Cattle'

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