Comparisons between Naturalist and Impressionist -3


Gustave Courbet
Le Hallali du Cerf

Berthe Morisot, 1841 - 1895
Chasing Butterflies,

In some of Courbet's earlier works, he painted traditional forest paintings. This painting is an example of the wildlife nature scene he portrayed. Courbet mastered his technique by using thick layers of paint applied with a palette knife. In contrast to Morisot's Chasing Butterflies, Courbet was accused of "painting ugly". In addition to his deer and woodlands themes, he sometimes included half-dressed women set in a bathing scene, or women in boudoirs.

On one level, Morisot's focus is similar to Courbet. They both painted landscape paintings. However, Morisot was more interested in the human figure in natural light. Most of her paintings included women and children dressed in fine clothes and domestic scenes. Morisot's technique was based on large brush work and loosely painted compositions. It is noted that she did not use the color black, as did the other Impressionist painters. In contrast to Courbet's painting, the act of chasing butterflies conveys a tranquil environment that includes her sister Edma and her children in the background.
  Jean-Frederic Bazille
Summer Scene, 1869
Mark Harden Artchive
Claude Monet
Beach at Sainte-Adresse, 1867




Bazille stepped out of the norm of the small scale paintings and began to paint large canvases of figures and facets of suburban life, suggesting that painting should record human actions, manners and customs. His work became recognized by the Impressionists--particularly his approach to flesh tones.

During this period of Monet's life, he painted people formally dressed in open air environments. Notice that skin was not exposed, even the colors of the faces were subdued. His subjects often were painted looking off into the distance, whereas Bazille, painted people from a frontal perspective.