Developments in the 19th Century


Art Styles in 19th century - Art Map


The Birth of Realism


Gustave Courbet


Gustave Courbet

(b Ornans, Franche-Comté, 10 June 1819; d La Tour-de-Peilz, nr Vevey, Switzerland, 31 Dec 1877).

French painter and writer. Courbet’s glory is based essentially on his works of the late 1840s and early 1850s depicting peasants and labourers, which were motivated by strong political views and formed a paradigm of Realism. From the mid-1850s into the 1860s he applied the same style and spirit to less overtly political subjects, concentrating on landscapes and hunting and still-life subjects. Social commitment, including a violent anticlericalism, re-emerged in various works of the 1860s and continued until his brief imprisonment after the Commune of 1871. From 1873 he lived in exile in Switzerland where he employed mediocre artists, but also realized a couple of outstanding pictures with an extremely fresh and free handling. The image Courbet presented of himself in his paintings and writings has persisted, making him an artist who is assessed as much by his personality as by his work. This feature and also his hostility to the academic system, state patronage and the notion of aesthetic ideals have made him highly influential in the development of modernism.



Portrait of Countess Karoly


Head Of A Woman With Flowers


The Young Ladies on the Banks of the Seine


The Grain Sifters


The Sleepers


The Bathers


Woman with a Parrot


Wounded Man


Sleeping Nude


Portrait of Gabrielle Borreau


Girls on the banks of the Seine

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