The Orpheus and Eurydice paintings of Camille Corot: Lyrical reflections of contemporary society (France)
Stein, Marcia Kay
Camfield, William A.
Master of Arts
Traditionally, commentators of Corot's late historical landscapes dismissed the subject matter of these works as irrelevant accessories added merely to increase their popularity and marketability. It is entirely possible, however, that Corot consciously chose the subject matter of these late historical landscapes, particularly the six paintings incorporating Orpheus and Eurydice, to reflect his feelings about life in Paris in the mid-nineteenth century, the role of the artist in society, and the effect of change on the artist. A critical examination of Corot's artistic background, of the commentaries on his work, and of the multifaceted Orpheus myth provides insight into the role subject matter played in these reflections.