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The Cover
March 14, 2007

Mother Protecting Her Child

Author Affiliations
 

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2007;297(10):1035. doi:10.1001/jama.297.10.1035

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875) was born into a solidly bourgeoisie family in Paris who had survived not only the Revolution of the previous decade, but the Days of Terror that followed. Jean-Baptiste's father, who had once been a hairdresser (recall the elaborate coiffeurs of the French court), was now a clothier in the rue de Bac and his mother was a modiste. Few could have predicted that their son would be a painter, let alone one of France's greatest landscape painters. Except perhaps for Camille (as his family called him) himself. To his parents, friends, and teachers he was simply the dutiful son, the loyal companion, the mediocre student: he lacked—in their eyes—the requisite temperament, the passion, that a true painter needed. In truth, the passion was there, but it took the form of an immovable rock rather than that of fire. He was steady, thorough, kind, mild, generous, obliging—and unyielding in his determination to be a painter. Whereas he obeyed his father and went into business, he also studied painting in every spare moment.

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