Reproductions Courbet, Gustave

Gustave Courbet

1819 - 1877

France, Realism

Gustave Courbet Biography

Courbet was born June 10, 1819, Ornans, France
died December 31, 1877, La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland                                                            Courbet was a French painter and leader of the Realist movement. Courbet rebelled against the Romantic painting of his day, turning to everyday events for his subject matter. Courbet's huge shadowed paintings with their solid groups of figures, such as The Artis’s Studio (1855), drew sharp criticism from the establishment. From the 1860s a more sensuous and colourful manner prevailed in Courbet paintings.
Courbet was born in eastern France, the son of Eléonor-Régis, a prosperous farmer, and Sylvie Courbet. After attending both the Collège Royal and the college of fine arts at Besançon, Courbet went to Paris in 1841, ostensibly to study law. Courbet devoted himself more seriously, however, to studying the paintings of the masters in the Louvre. Father and son had great mutual respect, and,                                                   
The Revolution of 1848 ushered in the Second Republic and a new liberal spirit that, for a brief while, greatly affected the arts. The Salon held its exhibition not in the Louvre itself but in the adjoining galleries of the Tuileries. Courbet exhibited paintings there in 1849, and his early paintings were greeted with considerable critical and public acclaim.
Courbet, an intimate of many writers and philosophers of his day, including the poet Charles Baudelaire and the social philosopher Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, became the leader of the new school of Realism, which in time prevailed over other contemporary movements. One of the decisive elements in his development of Realism was his lifelong attachment.
Courbet’s reputation has continued to grow since his death. Courbet's detractors often judge his paintings only on the basis of his socialism, ignoring the fact that his political beliefs grew out of his generosity and compassion. Courbet paintings, however, exerted much influence on the modern movements that followed him.Courbet offered succeeding generations of painters not so much a new.