Corot’s paintings have a room of their own in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new galleries for nineteenth-century painting and sculpture, and it’s one of the most beautifully designed and installed galleries that you will see in any New York City museum today. While often small in size, Corot’s paintings invariably have a grand internal scale, and the Metropolitan’s straightforward, four-square presentation is the perfect setting in which to appreciate Corot’s gift for discovering the extraordinary logic of an ordinary world. That’s the key to Corot, out of which flows the full complex glory of his art: the hard-edged early Italian views, the dappled silvery late French ones, the austere and mysterious figure studies, even the odd, challenging essays in Salon-scale religious painting. There are other galleries in the Metropolitan’s new installation that are just about as perfect as the Corot room: the...


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