Peasants Under The Trees At Dawn is a painting by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, created around 1840-45. This canvas was one of Corot’s “studies” painted outdoors directly from the motif, which were private works and were not exhibited by him at the Paris Salons.
The painting depicts a man sawing and a woman reaching into a tree, with piles of logs and branches in the foreground. A stream (the Auxois) is seen winding its way through the gully on the left-hand side to the hill beyond. The painting was created in the Morvan, a district west of Dijon in Burgundy, which is depicted in the artwork.
Corot was a pivotal figure in landscape painting, producing over 3,000 works during his lifetime. He emphasized simplicity and lyricism over academic techniques honed for perfect realism. Peasants Under The Trees At Dawn captures his fascination with nature’s changing light and atmospheric effects.
On top of being an exceptional example of how to catch different lighting conditions on canvas and convey their beauty to viewers successfully through masterful brushwork; Peasants Under The Trees At Dawn also showcases Corot’s ability to depict rural scenes with unobtrusive sentimentality that highlights humanity’s coexistence with nature beautifully.