Developments in the 19th Century


 



Art Styles in 19th century - Art Map



 




The Birth of Realism




 



see collections:


Camille Corot

Jean-Francois Millet

Jules Breton

Honore Daumier

Gustave Courbet



 


 


Origins

Courbet wanted to create art from life and worked on "concrete" representations devoid of traditional moral values and prejudices. This was the fundamental characteristic of Realism, no matter how complex and varied the themes and modes of expression. The subjects represented were drawn directly from life because, in Courbet's own words, "an abstract, invisible object that does not exist is outside the province of painting." New themes came to replace the paintings of allegorical and mythological subjects that featured in the moralistic ideals of academic art, which were supported in France by Napoleon III, who was proclaimed emperor in 1852. A much broader range of experiences was now envisaged. Subjects included workers, the poor, and the homeless, while the traditional idea of beauty was replaced by one of sombre plainness. Even though one could speak of realism in the landscapes of the Flemish school of Ruysdael and Paulus Potter in the 17th century, and certain social issues were present in the realistic art of Caravaggio or Ribera. these subjects took on a wholly new meaning in the century of the Industrial Revolution. There was a "democratization of art", stimulated by the progressive uprising of 1848 and by new subversive incentives - in January, 1848, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published in London their Manifesto of the Communist Party, which called for an international working-class revolution. The new attitude was a result of the political and social disillusionment with the Second Empire, the advances of science, the rise of new critical approaches to history, and the development of humanitarian concerns. In the realm of painting, chosen subjects were drawn from daily life, not merely as an opportunity for protest but also as a document of contemporary habits and customs. More interest was shown in people and their problems, and artists sought to make more direct and immediate contact with reality in contrast to the conventions of academic tradition. The roots of Realism were born out of the crisis within the Romantic movement. Although it rejected many of the principles of Romanticism - the exotic and historical subjects, the lofty ideals, and the supremacy of the imagination - other elements of the Realist cause reflected the true Romantic spirit: the expressive truth of the plain and ugly; the reverence for natural beauty in its imperfect, unfinished state; the attention to individual, regional, and ethnic peculiarities; and the elevation of the artist to a heroic level. However, the Realist painters did not seek to transform what they saw into picturesque or sublime works; they appreciated these scenes for their very ordinariness. Delacroix's motto of "belonging to one's own time'' was adopted by Realist painters in a narrower, more specific context. However, it was in English painting from the early 19th century, with its feeling for nature, that the earliest signs of Realism began to appear.
 

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The English Landscape Artists



John Constable (1776-1837), and Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-28) exhibited with great success at the so-called English Salon of 1824. Together with Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851), they were largely responsible for introducing a new approach to landscape painting that was to have a major influence on European art. They brought to landscape painting a respect for location, a belief that the commonplace was worth painting and that changing atmospheric effects (light and weather) were an essential part of the landscape.

 

 

 

Turner

In his visionary paintings, J.M.W Turner expressed the majesty of the "sublime"; he transcended empirical facts in favour of a fluid world, where the fusion of the four elements generated primordial energies. The present was dissolved in the past, visual experience in memory, and the particular became universal, vanishing in a timeless representation. The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, October 16, 1834, of which there are two versions, becomes an apocalyptic vision; the painting of Admiral Nelson's old ship, The Fighting "Temeraire" Tugged to her Last Berth to he Broken up, 1838, is a sad symbol of human destiny. The artist lashed himself to a mast of the ship Ariel in order to sample the stresses of snow, smoke, wind, and water at first hand. He later transformed the experience into a ghostly interpretation, which appears to be at the centre of a vortex of cosmic energy, in his painting Snow Storm: a Steamboat off a Harbour's Mouth (1842). Turner did not confine himself to a romantic vision of nature. Following his first trip to Italy in 1819, he experimented with a new form of naturalism in his landscape painting, which was based on the direct observation of truth, without resorting to any idealized or stylized form. This came to fruition in subsequent years, with a number of sketches in oils in which the artist worked on the themes of sky and sea. Some of Turner's lively experiments in oils anticipate the works of Constable, and the light that suffuses his mature works looks forward to the art of the Impressionists.

 

 


J.M.W Turner
Rain, Steam, and Speed - The Great Western Railway
1844
oil on canvas
National Gallery, London.
 

 

J.M.W. TURNER: "RAIN, STEAM, AND SPEED-THE GREAT WESTERN RAILWAY"

This painting is part of the Turner bequest, which was made in 1856, a few years after the artists death. It consists of over one thousand drawings, watercolours, and oil paintings, the majority of which are housed in the Tate Gallery, London. One of Turner's most famous works, Rain, Steam, and Speed - The Great Western Railway shows a train, bathed in a haze of morning light, travelling into the foreground over a bridge Just in front of, and below, the locomotive is a broad arch in which luminous yellows suggest the reverberation of the water. On the left, in the distance, are four arches of another bridge, which are delicately reflected in the gold and blue surface of the river. Between the two bridges is a boat, and near the centre, on the bank of the Thames, are the light-coloured shapes of figures dancing.

 

The composition is divided by two right-angled axes into almost equal parts, both horizontally (above and below, sky and earth) and vertically (left and right). Top and bottom are suffused with golden light, while left and right share similar features of depth. In the lower right quarter, dark tones prevail, whereas in the lower left quarter there are fewer dark and heavy colours, and the space is dominated by a blend of lighter tints. In both these quarters. Hues clearly in perspective lead the observer's eye into the distance and specifically to the light in the centre, which is the focal point at which everything disintegrates. The perspective, left to the observer's intuition, relies on the shape of the bridges and the train to suggest an infinite expanse.

 

 

 


BEFORE AND AFTER TURNER


With Albrecht Altdorfer (c.1480-1538), nature became one of the principal vehicles of expression for the artist attempting to convey the vastness of the universe. In his Battle of Alexander, the most original feature is the great depth of the scene. The sun lights up the clouds, symbolizing the divine and solar qualities of Alexander, victorious over the enemy. These symbolic qualities of alternating sunshine and shade would reach a climax in the work of Turner. His paintings are comparable to Claude Lorrain's mythological compositions; in the paintings of both artists, luminosity spreads from a central point of the canvas. The traditional view of history as an ordered progress, which was upheld by academic history painting, was challenged by Turner's extension of the form to include representations of nature as chaotic and apocalyptic. His extraordinary view of nature was a pivotal point in 19th-century painting, enabling later artists to present nature and rural life as subjects in their own right. As such. Turner was a strong influence for the European realists. Non-figurative art of the late-19th and 20th centuries often revived Turner's handling of light and colour. The play of light on natural forms was integral to the paintings of the Impressionists and the Post-Impressionists. The abstract paintings of Paul Klee (1879-1940) reveal a vision of nature set out in the arrangement of luminous shapes. Mattia Morena (b. 1920) carries the violence of natural events to extremes with spurts and blotches of colour.
 


Claude Lorrain
Sea Port with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba
1648
National Gallery, London

 


Mattia Moreni
Natura viva
1956
Civico Museo dArte Contemporanea, Milan
             


Albrecht Altdorfer
Battle of Alexander
1529
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

   
 

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Constable

Like Turner, John Constable was primarily a landscape artist, but while the former was a tireless traveller, Constable was essentially a painter of English scenes. His subjects are the places that he knew and loved - the country landscapes of Suffolk, Dedham, Salisbury, the Stour, and Hampstead. Throughout his life, he enjoyed a quiet, open-air existence, firm in the conviction that nature was the clearest revelation of God's presence. Sheaves of hay, hedges, trees, and streams
were the impetus for divine contemplation and worship. The poet Wordsworth - so akin to Constable in many ways - expressed in the preface to his Lyrical Ballads (1802) why rural scenes were preferable to those of parkland: "in that situation our elementary feelings exist in a state of greater simplicity and consequently may be more accurately contemplated and more forcefully communicated." This idyllic fusion of man with his surroundings, where "the passions of man are incorporated with the beautiful and permanent forms of nature", is the Garden of Eden - a metaphor of purity and truth contrasting with the industrial reality of the city. In his small oil studies (as opposed to the large canvases intended for Academy exhibitions). Constable shunned the conventional compositional elements - framing devices and central motifs - and concentrated instead on capturing the changing effects of light and atmosphere. His studies of clouds between 1821 and 1822 had precedents in the work of Alexander Cozens (1717-86), who, in his depiction of clouds and other natural phenomena, discerned something mysterious and beyond rational thinking. Constable went further: in his studies there is no trace of beginning and end; his depictions of clouds and rivers seem to spill over the edges of the sheet. They move rapidly and unexpectedly in every direction, within a space that seems totally free and infinite. Constable used chiaroscuro to dramatic effect, transforming his tranquil rural scenes with the shadows created by the clouds. His rapid painting technique conveys immediacy, using touches of pure white spread with the flat brush. His vibrant brushstrokes fill the canvas with light and a vitality.
 

 


John Constable
The Hay Wain
1821
National Gallery, London

Considered one of Constable's masterpieces,
this work depicts a gentle rural scene - a favourite of English painters.
 

 

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Realism in France


English painting had an impact on 19th-century French art. initially in the romantic landscapes of Delacroix (1798— 1863), who saw Constable's paintings at the Salon of 1824, and in the works of the Barbizon School. There are several strands linking Constable to Delacroix and the Impressionists, and equally to Courbet and Gericault, whose trip to England in 1820 became a source of inspiration for realistic paintings, such as The Lime Kiln (c. 1822).
 

 

Corot

Camille Corot (1796-1875) was unrivalled in capturing on canvas the atmosphere of nature - trees, paths, and water were all enveloped by some untouchable and indefinable spirit. In due course, the results of his work would be absorbed into the works of the Impressionists. His immaterial light uses the relationship of colours to heighten the sculptural value of his paintings. His "unfinished" sketches were presented in exhibitions as true, valid, complete works of art. It was Baudelaire who defended Corot's landscapes at the Salon of 1845, defining the difference between a "finished'' picture, painted with careful attention to detail, and a "complete" work, which might have been only roughly sketched. Corot visited Italy as a student from 1825 to 1828, documenting in small sketches and paintings his first-hand observation of the countryside around Rome, which he subsequently composed in the studio. The artist had a natural gift for selecting and simplifying natural detail, which placed him in the French tradition of Claude Lorrain. His Breton women seem like mythical figures, and his later landscapes become ideal, timeless places inhabited by nymphs, shepherds, and gods. At the same time, nature in this guise was also understood by the artist in terms of measurable proportions, which anticipated the "geometrical'' landscapes of Paul Cezanne.
 

 

 

 

JEAN-BAPTISTE-CAMILLE COROT

"THE WOMAN IN BLUE"
1874
Musee du Louvre, Paris.
 

see collection:


Camille Corot


 

 

This is one of the last paintings by Corot, who died at the age of 79 in 1875. It is a full-length portrait of a young woman at a table, her elbow resting on a piece of clothing, hand on chin. In her other hand she is holding a folded fan. She wears an elaborate blue dress in the style of the age, sleeveless, with a low neckline, and a tight-fitting bodice. The woman is seen almost in profile: the lower part of the body is a three-quarter view from the back, while her face is turned slightly towards the observer. Two landscape pictures in the background and a fairly summary treatment of the rest of the room complete the scene. This work is not the most famous of Corot's paintings, nor at the time the most appreciated, as he was an artist who usually-concentrated on contemplative landscapes. It is. however, representative of the work that Corot produced, above all, for himself: in situ landscape sketches and portraits, particularly of women. Although tense and severe, the picture still captures some intimate grace.
 

 

 


Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

born July 16, 1796, Paris, France
died February 22, 1875, Paris

in full Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot French painter, noted primarily for his landscapes, who inspired and tosome extent anticipated the landscape painting of the Impressionists. His oil sketches, remarkable for their technical freedomand clear colour, have come to be as highly regarded as the finished pictures that were based upon them.

Early life and career

Corot was born of prosperous bourgeois parents. His mother, who was Swiss-born, had a fashionable milliner's shop, whichCorot's father—a draper by trade—helped manage. Camille was a poor scholar and even less adept when he tried to follow his father's trade. Finally, at age 25, he was given a small allowance by his father and allowed to become what he had always dreamed of being: a painter.

Like every young French artist, Corot spent much time studying the paintings in the Louvre, and he had some private instruction from Achille-Etna Michallon and Jean-Victor Bertin, both followers of the Neoclassical landscape painter Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes. From the beginning, however, Corot preferred to sit outdoors, rather than in studios, sketching what he saw and learning by firsthand experience.

In the autumn of 1825 Corot went to Rome, and the three years that he spent there were the most influential of his life.He painted the city and the Campagna, the countryside around Rome; he made a trip to Naples and Ischia; and he returned to Paris by way of Venice. He was very happy. He told a friend in August 1826: “All I really want to do in life…is to paint landscapes. This firm resolve will stop me forming any serious attachments. That is to say, I shall not get married.” He was as good as his word and never married. Romantic companionship played no part in his life, which was entirely devoted to painting.

Back in France, Corot settled into a routine to which he kept for the whole of his life. He always spent the spring and summer months painting outside, making small oil sketches and drawings from nature. He acquired a mastery of tonal relationships that formed the basis of his art, for the balance and gradation of light and dark tones was always more important to him than the choice of colour. In the winter Corot would retire to his Paris studio to work on some much larger pictures, which he liked to have ready for exhibition atthe annual Salon when it opened in May.

His first important work, The Bridge at Narni, was shown at the Paris Salon in 1827, when he was still in Italy. In 1833 he exhibited a large landscape of the forest of Fontainebleau, which was awarded a second-class medal: this gave Corot the right to show his pictures without submission to the jury for their approval.

From May to October of 1834 Corot made his second visit to Italy. He painted views of Volterra, Florence, Pisa, Genoa, Venice, and the Italian lake district. He collected enough material in small sketches to last him the rest of his life, although he returned to Italy briefly in the summer of 1843, for the last time.

When he grew older, Corot moved around less. In 1836, however, he made important trips to Avignon and the south of France; he went to Switzerland in 1842 and on several other occasions, to The Netherlands in 1854, and to London in1862. His favourite regions of France were the forest of Fontainebleau, Brittany, the Normandy coast, his family property at Ville-d'Avray near Paris, and, later in life, Arras and Douai—in the north of France—where close friends lived.

Throughout his life Corot liked occasionally to paint straightforward topographical landscapes, depicting buildings such as the cathedral at Chartres (1830) or the belfry at Douai (1871) exactly as they appeared to him. But the basic division in his work was between the sketch made from nature—small, direct, spontaneous—and the large, finished picture done for the Salon. In the early 19th century the sketch was thought to be unsuitable for public exhibition,and there were only a few connoisseur collectors who would buy such pictures. The finished landscapes were preferred. These were considered even more dignified if they included a few small figures who could be identified with the heroic characters of legend, literature, or the Bible. Thus, Corot exhibited pictures with such titles as Hagar in the Wilderness (Salon of 1835), Diana Surprised by Actaeon (Salon of 1836), Homer and the Shepherds (Salon of 1845), and Christ in the Garden of Olives (Salon of 1849).


As landscape was his major interest, Corot used figures in his work in an incidental manner, much as they were used in the work of the 17th-century painter Claude Lorrain. In the 1860s Corot invented a new kind of landscape, the Souvenirs, in which he made compositions out of standardized elements—usually a lake with diaphanoustrees painted in an overall silvery tonality—to evoke a mood of gentle melancholy. At the end of his life, he also painted a number of portraits and figure studies, especially of young women posed in his studio holding a flower or a musical instrument or looking at a landscape on the easel. These more private pictures Corot almost never exhibited.

During the 1830s Corot showed regularly at the Paris Salon and had some critical success. Yet he sold very few pictures and was glad of his father's allowance. Then, in 1840, the state purchased one of his works, The Little Shepherd, and, five years later, the poet and art critic Charles Baudelaire could write in his review of the 1845 Salon that “Corot standsat the head of the modern school of landscape.” In 1846 he was made a member of the Legion of Honour, and, when his father died, in 1847, Corot was able to feel that he had justified the family's support of his ambition to be a painter.


Years of success

By the 1850s collectors and dealers were eagerly seeking hispictures, and Corot henceforth had no material worries. He went on sending big pictures to the Salons, where they fetched high prices. At the 1855 Paris Universal Exposition he was awarded a first-class medal for painting, and EmperorNapoleon III bought a picture from him. In 1867 he was promoted to being an officer of the Legion of Honour. Although he was a prolific artist and painted more than 3,000 pictures, demand outran supply, and Corot was much imitated and faked. During his lifetime, Corot achieved popularity largely through his later, self-consciously poetic landscapes, which were characterized by sensitive tonal effects and a delicate range of silvery colours. The portraits and figure studies of the last 20 years of Corot's life, such as The Studio (several versions, c. 1865) and The Pearl (1868–70), bear witness to Corot's innate classicism and his absolute mastery of tonal painting. In the 20th century, appreciation of Corot shifted to show a marked preference for the earlier, more naturalistic sketches over these later ones.


Success made little difference to Corot, who was a man of extremely conservative habits. He always worked very hard because he loved his art, but this left him little time for other things. He liked to talk about the harmonies of his painting, and his late work in particular—both portraiture and landscape—aspires to the qualities of music. He kept the modern world firmly out of his pictures: there is never a sign of the vast railway network that covered France in his lifetime or of the industrial and commercial development that transformed the country.

Corot enjoyed the company of fellow painters and was a close friend of the Barbizon group of artists, especially Jean-François Millet, Théodore Rousseau, and Charles-François Daubigny. He used his money to give unostentatious help to less successful friends, such as the caricaturist Honoré Daumier. Without going out of his way to support them in public, Corot was sympathetic to younger painters. He gave lessons to the later Impressionists CamillePissarro and Berthe Morisot and had many pupils and disciples. “Papa Corot” was universally loved for his unfailing kindness and generosity during his last years.

Assessment

Corot's place in the history of 19th-century painting is an assured one. When he started painting, the landscape sketch was regarded primarily as raw material for more considered work and was of no great artistic consequence in itself. Corot was one of the first to show that the sketch had qualities of vitality and spontaneity, a basic truth to nature that a more finished picture lacked. At the time of his death the sketch had triumphed, and any artificiality or contrivance in landscape painting was regarded with suspicion. Corot had helped to prepare the way for the Impressionist landscape painters, who learned much from him and looked upon him with respect and veneration.

Sir Alan Bowness
 

 

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see collection:



Jean-Francois


Millet

Millet

Jean-Francois Millet (1814-75) was the first artist to choose the theme of rural life as the subject for his paintings. He depicted peasants in large scenes, positioning them in isolated groups in the foreground. They are austere figures with great dramatic presence even though their facial features are hidden. Millet's peasants do not have the crudeness of those in Courbet's works: the attitudes of the sombre figures, softened by the evening light, are self-absorbed, tinged with melancholy, and somehow timeless. Their shapes are simple and rendered with broad strokes and harmoniously blended colours. These peasants do not belong to a given region but take on a wider significance, becoming representative of humankind's dependence on the land. This realism, with all its social and humanitarian implications, was that of a deeply romantic and religious individual whose interest in art went back to childhood. Millet's earlv davs were spent in a village in Normandy, in an enclosed, sombre environment, supervised by a pious priest, who based his lessons on the Bible and Virgil's Eclogues. His future path became clear in 1849, when he met the painters of the Barbizon School following an apprenticeship in the Paris studio of Paul Delaroche. There, he had made a start with paintings of mythological subjects in a Romantic vein. Millet never emulated the heroic, revolutionary style of Courbet, but instead retained a traditional element in his compositions, investing his ordinary subjects with poise and nobility. From his time in Barbizon, he painted works from memory, transcending any specific reference to reality.
 


Jean-Francois Millet
The Gleaners
1857
Musee d'Orsay, Paris

 

 


Jean-Francois Millet
The Sower
1850

RUSTIC LIFE

Millet's The Sower became the symbol of man at work. The direct and close bond with nature was reflected in the mood and tone — the weary rhythm of everyday toil in a dull, oppressive light. Meanwhile, Jules Breton (1827-1906) lived in a provincial rural community where the pattern of daily life was tied in with the observances of the Church.
   


Jules Breton
The Blessing of the Wheat, Artois
1857
Musee d'Orsay, Paris
 

 

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Daumier

Honore Daumier (1808-79) began as a designer and lithographer with the satirical weekly La Silhouette. He then contributed to the Magazine de la Caricature, edited by Aubert, and the weekly La Caricature of Charles Philippon, who also founded Charivari, in which Daumier published a series of biting caricatures of political and social celebrities. The artist drew on the Parisian working class for inspiration in his own "Human Comedy" in an inspired blend of the real and the visionary. He made almost 4,000 lithographs (including 100 in the celebrated "Robert Macaire" series) and turned to painting in his later years. He successfully combined the popular language of the lithograph (which owed much to English prints of caricatures and contemporary life) and the refinement of late Romantic painting, which was self-taught. Daumier documented workers' conditions, women's struggle for emancipation, the emergent middle class, and the professional ranks of judges, lawyers, and doctors. He conveyed a sense of human suffering through his images of Christ, Don Quixote's adventures, and the actors of the commedia dell'arte.
 

see collection:


Honore Daumier


Honore Daumier
The Washerwoman
1863
Musee d'Orsay, Paris
 

 

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COURBET

The catalogue compiled by Gustave Courbet for the exhibition at the Pavilion du Realisme in 1855 contained the famous "Manifesto of Realism", outlining the artistic theories of the man who would be known as the master of 19th-century European Realism. Courbet's defiant and unconventional approach was far removed from the nostalgia for a lost tradition, dreamed of by the Pre-Raphaelites, or the historical painting of the pompiers (the derogatory term given to French academic painters). Courbet's art was concrete, almost tangible, even in the handling of the paint, which was laid on with a spatula rather than a brush, in what he described as ''a wholly physical language". In A Burial at Ornans (1849-50), familiar provincial folk are depicted life-size, raising regional painting to the level of historical art. The subject is contemporary life, the actual moment of a burial in a stark, gloomy landscape that exudes the smell of the soil. It is a secular, anti-heroic painting, unlike those of Jean-Pierre-Alexandre Antigna (1817-78), in which the people are seen to struggle in a theatrical and melodramatic manner against a hostile fate. This canvas was the forerunner of other monumental pictures inspired by the rural events and customs of Courbet's native Franche-Comte. In The Stone-breakers (1849, destroyed during World War II), he renounced traditional methods of figured painting, both in his choice of subjects and the way he represented them. Unlike Millet's figures in The Gleaners, the protagonists in Courbet's painting are not invested with dignity and monumentality (for which reason Millet's painting was more warmly received by critics and the public than Courbet's). The Painters Studio - A Real Allegory Summing Up Seven Years of my Artistic and Moral Life (1854-55) was the centrepiece of Courbet's exhibition in the Pavilion du Realisme, In it, he presents himself as the artist-hero, seated in the middle of his studio, paint-brush poised over a canvas of a landscape. Assembled around him are all the significant influences of his life. In a letter to Champfleury, Courbet wrote that the people on his right are "friends, fellow-workers and art lovers... those who live on life" and on his left is "the world of the commonplace... the exploiters, the exploited, those who live on death". The portraits on the right are identifiable - among them are Champfleury and Baudelaire -but we are left to speculate on the identity and meaning of the characters on the left. Courbet is best-known for his figure paintings, but he was also a prolific painter of landscapes. For him, nature was a direct sensation; it had substance and physical consistency, and was modelled by light, which is no accidental element but a palpable structure of reality itself.
 

 

GUSTAVE COURBET

"A BURIAL AT ORNANS"
1849-50
Musee d'Orsay, Paris.
 


 

The painting shows the final part of a Catholic funeral ceremony - the lowering of the coffin into a grave at the cemetery of Ornans in the Franche-Comte, where Courbet was born in 1819.
With such large dimensions, the painter was able to portray more than fifty life-size figures. In the centre foreground is part of the empty hole; on the left are the priest, the pallbearers, and the coffin covered with a white drape; behind the grave are officials; on the right are female mourners, kept separate from the men; and, in the foreground, is a dog.

 Courbet's finely composed painting is made up of two identical rectangles, which are very close to squares. In the left half, we see the officiating priest, dressed in black robes and reading the words of the liturgy. There are also two altar boys, a clergyman carrying the processional cross, and four pallbearers in black, with the bands for lowering the coffin over their shoulders. Between them, the coffin is covered by a white drape with black crossed bones, over which is placed a red mat. Behind the grave, there is a man bent on one knee, two men in gowns and red toques, and a group of men. The women stand to the right. Above the figures, beyond the ideal line of the horizon, extends the broad landscape of green hills and rocks. If vertical lines were drawn through the centre of the composition and through the two separate rectangles, it would be possible to trace the base of an imaginary triangle, its apex in the grave.
 

 

Gustave Courbet
Self-Portrait with Upraised Arm
1840
 

THE SELF-PORTRAIT

During this period, artists became heroic figures of their times, and chose to represent themselves and their friends and colleagues in an imaginative range of poses. Gustave Courbet compared himself to Rembrandt in the depiction of his own likeness. His self-portraits range from the sharp, egocentric youth, absorbed in self-praise, to the final expression of his agony through the image of a trout in its death throes. More than a sensitive still life, this work is a tragic self-portrait of an artist who had suffered repeated disappointment: firstly, in the fall of the Paris Commune, secondly, in his imprisonment, and, finally, in his eventual exile to Switzerland.


Gustave Courbet
Courbet with a Black Dog
1844

 

see collection:


Gustave Courbet

Gustave Courbet
Self-Portrait
1847

 

 


Gustave Courbet
Self-Portrait
1848-49
Musee Fabre, Montpellier

 

 


Gustave Courbet
Self-Portrait

 

 


Gustave Courbet
The Meeting or ''Bonjour Monsieur Courbet"
1854
Musee Fabre, Montpellier France.
The artist depicts himself meeting the art collector, and purchaser of the painting, Alfred Bruyas.

 

see collections:

Camille Corot

Jean-Francois Millet

Jules Breton

Honore Daumier

Gustave Courbet

 

 

 

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