The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is exhibiting 44 engaging portraits of women by the celebrated French artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. The exhibition is on until December 31.
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1769-1875) was a master landscape artist whose career spanned from the 1830s to 1870s. He was famous for natural light representation and portraying realistic pastoral settings in his artworks.
The exhibition will showcase lesser known portraits made by Corot showing delicate features of woman in somber moods. In a painting titled “Interrupted Reading,” Corot shows the impatience of a young woman who looks on while waiting to go back to her book.
The exhibition also includes reclining nudes made by Corot which were considered sensual and scandalous in his time. In “Marietta,” a painting Corot made in 1843, the title of the piece identifies the model which was considered shocking for that era.
Unlike in other portraits, his nude subjects do not avert their gaze and stare directly at the viewer. “Portraits and figure studies, painted on the side throughout his life, took on a new importance in his private work of the 1850s and 1860s,” according to Corot’s biography on The National Gallery of Art.
“While in his imagined landscapes he cultivated a hazy indefiniteness, he went in the opposite direction in his paintings of the figure. Posing models in costume or in the nude, he stressed their physical presence, defining their bodies with sculptural vigor and their costumes with strong color.”