The Bridge and Castel Sant’Angelo with the Cupola of St. Peters, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Corot painted in several styles through his career, but this is an example of my favorite type of approach on his part.
To Corot, this small piece — roughly 10×17 in (27×42 cm), painted in oil on paper, later mounted to canvas — was likely a study. It was painted in 1826 or 1827, half a century before the first Impressionist Exhibition in Paris.
What strikes me, other than how beautiful, painterly and appealing I find it, is how contemporary it looks.
I’ve often thought in looking paintings like this, that you could draw a line straight from Corot to the standards of much contemporary landscape and plein air painting — without going through the Impressionists on whom he was so influential, and the American Impressionists, on whom they were so influential — a straight line from Corot to contemporary painterly realism.