The Dreamer (Le Songeur)


Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas, United States

In this enigmatic scene, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot uses energetic lines to describe a variety of forms and textures, particularly in the two trees in the foreground. Yet the surface of the print itself has the smoothness of a photograph, a hallmark of cliché-verre printmaking, which uses photographic technology to create etching–like images. An artist takes a pointed instrument such as an etching needle and draws onto a glass plate that has been coated with an opaque substance. Light-sensitive photographic paper is placed behind the plate, and both are exposed to the sun. Sunlight passes through the plate’s etched lines and leaves a dark impression on the paper, transferring the image. Invented in the 19th century, cliché-verre was popular among Barbizon artists such as Corot, since its ease and convenience made it an ideal medium for working outdoors.


  • Title: The Dreamer (Le Songeur)
  • Date Created: 1854
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 6 7/16 x 7 13/16 in. (16.36 x 19.84 cm)
  • Type: Prints
  • External Link: https://www.dma.org/object/artwork/5008405/
  • Medium: Cliché-verre
  • Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred L. Bromberg
  • Artist Nationality: French
  • Artist: Jean–Baptiste–Camille Corot

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