Jean-Baptise Camille Corot (1796-1875) was born in Paris, and was a successful businessman before becoming a painter; his financial security removed any pressure to sell his works. Travelling in Italy for two years from 1825, Corot painted oils directly from the landscapes before him, developing his techniques before returning to Paris in 1828. He was happy in obscurity, painting landscapes and portraits for his own pleasure, and not until 1855 did he emerge as a significant artist. His wealth and social position enabled him to support others (sometimes by signing his name to their canvases!) which helps to account for more than 3000 recorded "Corot" paintings.