Corot's Modernity

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, 1825, oil on paper mounted on canvas, 13.4 x 18.9 i
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, 1825, oil on paper mounted on canvas, 13.4 x 18.9 inches, Musée du Louvre (source: Wikimedia Commons)

Reflections on the inherent modernity of Corot's plein-art studies.

"A landscape can be a reliable barometer of where painting is headed at the time of its making. That has partly to do with its absence of human traces. The lack of bridges, roads and other such structures that are only occasionally included by Corot, create images of unfolding sceneries that are not yet fully defined and thus ambiguous. To depict the natural world in a sketch means to accentuate how we see and how we go about making visible through paint what is in front of us. By doing so, Corot arrives - intentionally or not - at a form of painting that has come to be associated with modernity. In this instance, modernity describes how the experienced present is appropriated in a mode of presentness..."