Gustave Courbet

French, Realist, 1819-1877

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Young Ladies on the Banks of the Seine (Summer)
Gustave Courbet
353 USD



Jo, the Beautiful Irish Girl
Gustave Courbet
236 USD

Nude Woman with a Dog
Gustave Courbet
253 USD

Self-portrait (The Desperate Man)
Gustave Courbet
236 USD
 
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and his Children
Gustave Courbet
289 USD
 
Portrait of Countess Karoly
Gustave Courbet
235 USD
 
Beach in Normandy
Gustave Courbet
245 USD
 
The Cliffs at Etretat
Gustave Courbet
252 USD

The Cliffs at Etretat after the Storm
Gustave Courbet
252 USD

Flowering Branches and Flowers
Gustave Courbet
233 USD

The Chateau de Chillon
Gustave Courbet
245 USD

Bathers or Two Nude Women
Gustave Courbet
290 USD
 
Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase
Gustave Courbet
248 USD

Landscape near Ornans
Gustave Courbet
246 USD

The Chasm at Conches
Gustave Courbet
253 USD

Vue du Lac Leman
Gustave Courbet
254 USD

Woman of Frankfurt
Gustave Courbet
307 USD

The Reflection of Ornans
Gustave Courbet
254 USD

The Sleepers (Le Sommeil)
Gustave Courbet
301 USD

Les Baigneuses
Gustave Courbet
354 USD

Juliette Courbet
Gustave Courbet
236 USD

The Woman in the Waves
Gustave Courbet
236 USD

Woman with a Parrot
Gustave Courbet
281 USD

Nude Reclining Woman
Gustave Courbet
291 USD

The Young Bather
Gustave Courbet
309 USD

The Hammock
Gustave Courbet
287 USD

Portrait of a Young Woman in the Style of Labille-Guiard
Gustave Courbet
233 USD

The Peasants of Flagey Returning from the Fair
Gustave Courbet
390 USD

The Meeting
('Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet')

Gustave Courbet
357 USD

The Sculptor
Gustave Courbet
291 USD

Fox In The Snow
Gustave Courbet
245 USD

The Winnowers
Gustave Courbet
294 USD

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Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet (10 June 1819 – 31 December 1877) was a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting. Committed to painting only what he could see, he rejected academic convention and the Romanticism of the previous generation of visual artists. His independence set an example that was important to later artists, such as the Impressionists and the Cubists. Courbet occupies an important place in 19th-century French painting as an innovator and as an artist willing to make bold social statements through his work.

Courbet's paintings of the late 1840s and early 1850s brought him his first recognition. They challenged convention by depicting unidealized peasants and workers, often on a grand scale traditionally reserved for paintings of religious or historical subjects. Courbet's subsequent paintings were mostly of a less overtly political character: landscapes, seascapes, hunting scenes, nudes and still lifes. He was imprisoned for six months in 1871 for his involvement with the Paris Commune, and lived in exile in Switzerland from 1873 until his death.

I am fifty years old and I have always lived in freedom; let me end my life free; when I am dead let this be said of me: 'He belonged to no school, to no church, to no institution, to no academy, least of all to any régime except the régime of liberty.'

Biography

Courbet was born in 1819 to Régis and Sylvie Oudot Courbet in Ornans (department of Doubs). Being a prosperous farming family, anti-monarchical feelings prevailed in the household. (His maternal grandfather fought in the French Revolution.) Courbet's sisters, Zoé, Zélie and Juliette, were his first models for drawing and painting. After moving to Paris he often returned home to Ornans to hunt, fish and find inspiration.

He went to Paris in 1839 and worked at the studio of Steuben and Hesse. An independent spirit, he soon left, preferring to develop his own style by studying the paintings of Spanish, Flemish and French masters in the Louvre, and painting copies of their work.

His first works were an Odalisque inspired by the writing of Victor Hugo and a Lélia illustrating George Sand, but he soon abandoned literary influences, choosing instead to base his paintings on observed reality. Among his paintings of the early 1840s are several self-portraits, Romantic in conception, in which the artist portrayed himself in various roles. These include Self-Portrait with Black Dog (c. 1842–44, accepted for exhibition at the 1844 Paris Salon), the theatrical Self-Portrait which is also known as Desperate Man (c. 1843–45), Lovers in the Countryside (1844, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon), The Sculptor (1845), The Wounded Man (1844–54, Musée d'Orsay, Paris), The Cellist, Self-Portrait (1847, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, shown at the 1848 Salon), and Man with a Pipe (1848–49, Musée Fabre, Montpellier).

Trips to the Netherlands and Belgium in 1846–47 strengthened Courbet's belief that painters should portray the life around them, as Rembrandt, Hals and other Dutch masters had. By 1848, he had gained supporters among the younger critics, the Neo-romantics and Realists, notably Champfleury.

Courbet achieved his first Salon success in 1849 with his painting After Dinner at Ornans. The work, reminiscent of Chardin and Le Nain, earned Courbet a gold medal and was purchased by the state. The gold medal meant that his works would no longer require jury approval for exhibition at the Salon - an exemption Courbet enjoyed until 1857 (when the rule changed).

In 1849-50, Courbet painted Stone-Breakers (destroyed in the Allied Bombing of Dresden in 1945), which Proudhon admired as an icon of peasant life; it has been called "the first of his great works". The painting was inspired by a scene Courbet witnessed on the roadside. He later explained to Champfleury and the writer Francis Wey: "It is not often that one encounters so complete an expression of poverty and so, right then and there I got the idea for a painting. I told them to come to my studio the next morning."

Realism 

Courbet's work belonged neither to the predominant Romantic nor Neoclassical schools. History painting, which the Paris Salon esteemed as a painter's highest calling, did not interest him, for he believed that "the artists of one century [are] basically incapable of reproducing the aspect of a past or future century ..." Instead, he maintained that the only possible source for living art is the artist's own experience.

Courbet painted figurative compositions, landscapes, seascapes, and still lifes. He courted controversy by addressing social issues in his work, and by painting subjects that were considered vulgar, such as the rural bourgeoisie, peasants, and working conditions of the poor. His work, along with that of Honoré Daumier and Jean-François Millet, became known as Realism. For Courbet realism dealt not with the perfection of line and form, but entailed spontaneous and rough handling of paint, suggesting direct observation by the artist while portraying the irregularities in nature. He depicted the harshness in life, and in so doing challenged contemporary academic ideas of art. 

Legacy 

Courbet was admired by many younger artists. Claude Monet included a portrait of Courbet in his own version of Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe from 1865–1866. Courbet's particular kind of realism influenced many artists to follow, notably among them the German painters of the Leibl circle, James McNeill Whistler, and Paul Cézanne. Courbet's influence can also be seen in the work of Edward Hopper, whose Bridge in Paris (1906) and Approaching a City (1946) have been described as Freudian echoes of Courbet's The Source of the Loue and The Origin of the World. His pupils included Henri Fantin-Latour, Hector Hanoteau and Olaf Isaachsen.

Source: Wikipedia