Camille Corot was born in Paris on July 26, 1796. His family were bourgeois people, and unlike the experience of some of his artistic colleagues, throughout his life he never felt the want of money. After an education at Rouen, he apprenticed to a draper, but hated commercial life and despised what he called its "business tricks,". When he was 26 his father consented to his adopting the profession of art.
Corot learned little from his masters. He visited Italy on three occasions, and two of his Roman studies hang in the Louvre. A regular contributor to the Salon, in 1846 the French government decorated him with the cross of the Legion of Honour, and he was promoted to an officer in 1867. Nevertheless, his many friends considered that he was officially neglected. In 1874, a short time before his death, they presented him with a gold medal.
During the last few years of his life he earned large sums with his pictures, which were in great demand. In 1871 he gave £2000 for the poor of Paris and his continued charity was long the subject of remark
He died in Paris on February 22, 1875 and was buried at Père Lachaise.