Gustave Courbet 1819 - 1877


Courbet was known as a successful leader of the Realist school of painting. He was considered influential in the contemporary reality of landscape open air paintings. Courbet was inspired and influenced by Spanish art and by the 17th century portraits of Holland.

Courbet was accused of painting ugly-- La Femme au Chien is an example of "painting ugly". His paintings included scenes of proverty and peasant life. He influenced Edouard Manet and James McNeill Whistler's early career as a painter.

In one painting, Un Enterrement a Ornans, he sketched over fifty native people in villages during autumn. The theme of this painting was a funeral. Courbet maintained his style of realism on a monumental scale.

Millet and Courbet were both considered anthropologists of disappearing rural life. A dream of Courbet's was to decorate the railway stations with paintings.

In 1871 he was appointed President of the Art Commission. His first duty was to demolish the Napoleonic column in Place Vendome. Later, after seventy two days, he lost his political power and was put in prison. Two years later, he was released due to bad health and moved to Switzerland.

He died, while in exile in Switzerland, in 1877.

Paintings by Gustave Courbet

  • L'Homme Blesse - 1844
  • Un Enterrement a Ornans - 1849/50
  • A Painter's Studio; A Real Allegory - 1855
  • Le Rut du printemps Combat de cerfs - 1861
  • Femme au chien - 1861/62
  • Madame Proudhon - 1865
  • Remise de chevreuils au ruisseau de Plaisir-Fontaine - 1866
  • Le Hallali du Cerf - 1869
  • The Stormy Sea or The Wave - 1870
  • La Falaise d'Etretat apres l'orage - 1870
  • The Stone Breakers - 1870
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