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The Lady in Blue

Painting, 1874, 80×50.5 cm

Description of the artwork «The Lady in Blue»

Camille Corot turned 78 years old when he wrote his "Lady in Blue" (1874). The painting, transmitted in 1912 by Henri Rhard to the Louvre, is considered Corot’s last masterpiece. Written a year before the artist’s death, “The Lady in Blue” still has not lost its mysterious appeal. Some believe that the result of Corot’s entire creative life is encrypted in this picture.

He was a famous (not excluded - great) landscape painter. "The King of Landscape", "the poet of the dawn", the forerunner of imprpessizma ... Corot painted portraits in between times and exclusively for himself. An interesting detail: Corot performed a lot of women's portraits - almost no men's ones in his work. If you look at it leisurely and carefully, all the “women of Corot” are a recognizable type. They never flirt with the audience, do not seek his gaze, do not flirt. On the contrary, girls from the paintings of Corot (will we take the heroine of the famous "Interrupted Reading", or "Gypsy with a mandolin in the workshop", or "Woman with a Pearl"or portraits of nieces - 1, 2) always without a trace absorbed in their own, driven by only one of their experiences. They are often thoughtful and almost always melancholic. As a result, the heroines of Koro look a bit frozen, as if frozen, frozen in a daze, although they possess both internal strength and latent energy. “I need a model that moves!” - Koro suffered from how difficult the body image was in motion.

All this is true for the "Lady in Blue." She is dressed in an elegant dress with the latest fashion turret (the modest's son Koro has been selling fabrics for 7 years and knew a lot about it). Her beautiful full hands are bare (first Koro wrote black lace gloves, then painted them without regret). In her hand, the heroine squeezes the fan. They don’t dress like this for home: these are clothes for the reception, for the ball - for a setting that is much richer and more solemn than the one that surrounds it now. She should have been in anticipation, in the holiday excitement. But instead she stopped and, leaning on her chin with her hand, thought. And that is what makes her the "woman of Corot."

Corot almost never wrote portraits to order and therefore could feel free and not strive to please the model. He himself chose whom to write. For "The Lady in Blue" Corot posed for Emma Daubigny. Artist's daughter Charles-Francois DaubignyShe was a professional model, the services of which often resorted Degas. Corot also wrote Emma more than once: earlier - in Greek costumea little later - naked in the death picture "Bathing Diana".

Does Koro excite Emma's personality in "Lady in Blue"? More likely no than yes. More importantly, he “let” Emma into his workshop. He is 78, he knows that he is mortally ill, and this picture clearly brings some important result. The fact that this is exactly Koro's workshop is evidenced by his landscapes on the walls: generalized French, with wood and the same kind of Italian with a watery surface. Corot solves in this portrait are not psychological, but purely artistic tasks: how to "set the light", how to observe the balance of horizontals and verticals, how "Grab all shades and thereby convey the illusion of life" (his words of recent years), where exactly among smooth color transitions to place an unexpected contrast spot - he appreciated such things, called them "seasoning". When, after numerous glazes, the rich and muted olive-blue palette of the painting found completeness and harmony, Corot must have sighed contentedly, and then made the final touch: the bright orange tip of the fan.

Author: Anna Yesterday
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Romanticism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1874

Size: 80×50.5 cm

Artwork in selections: 19 selections

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