Jean Baptiste-Camille Corot trained in the Neo-classical tradition of painting, and progressively developed a highly personal vision of landscape. His stay in Italy (1825–1828) was a formative experience, since it encouraged him to study nature in the open air.
In this delicate painting from the Salon of 1847, Corot has created a carefully balanced composition; the shapes of the trees leaning across the space and the surface of the river lead the eye into the painting. The work depicts the unchanged activity of fishing, yet transforms the scene into an idyllic image that emphasises the eternal harmonies between man and nature. The work is imbued with softness through the use of tone, reflection and its depiction of the sky.
Corot’s influence on later painters was significant, particularly amongst the Impressionists; he was, importantly, a teacher of Berthe Morisot.