Order your ARC 2014-2015 Salon Catalogue

Click here to become a sponsor

   
Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau (Detail)
click to learn more click to learn more click to learn more
click to learn more click to learn more click to learn more
click to see upcoming exhibition information Click to visit the Living Masters Gallery Click to see the winners of the 2016 ARC Salon click to see the winners of the 2016 ARC Scholarship
Gustave
Courbet
French painter & designer
born June 10 1819- died December 31 1877

Born in: Ornans (Doubs, Franche-Comté, France)
Died in: La Tour-de-Peilz (Vaud, Switzerland)

Also known as:
Jean-Desire-Gustave Courbet

Nationality:
French

Teacher of:

Friend of:

Student of:


Biographical Information

COURBET, GUSTAVE (1819-1877), French painter, was born at Ornans (Doubs) on the 10th of June 1819. He went to Paris in 1839, and worked at the studio of Steuben and Hesse; but his independent spirit did not allow him to remain there long, as he preferred to work out his own way by the study of Spanish, Flemish and French painters. His first works, an Odalisque, suggested by Victor Hugo, and a Llia, illustrating George Sand, were literary subjects; but these he soon abandoned for the study of real life. Among other works he painted his own portrait with his dog, and The Man with a Pipe, both of which were rejected by the jury of the Salon; but the younger school of critics, the neo-romantics and realists, loudly sang the praises of Courbet, who by 1849 began to be famous, producing such pictures as After Dinner at Ornans and The Valley of the Loire. The Salon of 1850 found him triumphant with the Burial at Ornans, the Stone-Breakers and the Peasants of Flazey. His style still gained in individuality, as in Village Damsels (1852), the Wrestlers, Bathers, and A Girl Spinning (1852). Though Courbet's realistic work is not devoid of importance, it is as a landscape and sea painter that he will be most honoured by posterity. Sometimes, it must be owned, his realism is rather coarse and brutal, but when he paints the forests of Franche-Comt, the Stag-Fight, The Wave, or the Haunt of the Does. [...] When Courbet had made a name as an artist he grew ambitious of other glory; he tried to promote democratic and social science, and under the Empire he wrote essays and dissertations. His refusal of the cross of the Legion of Honour, offered to him by Napoleon III, made him immensely popular, and in 1871 he was elected, under the Commune, to the chamber. Thus it happened that he was responsible for the destruction of the Vendme column. A council of war, before which he was tried, condemned him to pay the cost of restoring the column, 300,000 francs (£12,000). To escape the necessity of working to the end of his days at the orders of the State in order to pay this sum, Courbet went to Switzerland in 1873, and died at La Tour du Peilz, on the 31st of December 1877, of a disease of the liver aggravated by intemperance. An exhibition of his works was held in 1882 at the cole des Beaux-Arts.

Select Bibliography:
  • Champfleury. Les Grandes Figures dhier et daujourd hui. Paris,1861.
  • Mantz. G. Courbet. Gazette des Beaux-Arts. Paris, 1878.
  • Zola. Mes Haines. Paris, 1879.
  • Lemonnier, C. Les Peinires de la Vie. Paris, 1888.

    Source: Entry on the artist in the 1911 Edition Encyclopedia.

  •    Artist Portraits

       Books and Related Products About This Artist

    Burial at Ornans

    1849
    Oil on canvas
    Musee d'Orsay (Paris, France)

    Carol Gerten Fine Art Index
    Added: 2001-12-12
    Burial at Ornans
    The Artist's Studio

    1855
    Oil on canvas
    359 x 598 cm
    (141.34" x 235.43")
    Musee d'Orsay (Paris, France)

    Carol Gerten Fine Art Index
    Added: 2001-12-12
    The Artist's Studio
    The Peasants of Flagey Returning from the Fair, Ornans

    1850-1855
    Oil on canvas
    Musee des Beaux-Arts (BesanÁon, France)

    Carol Gerten Fine Art Index
    Added: 2001-12-12
    The Peasants of Flagey Returning from the Fair, Ornans
    The Hammock

    1844
    Oil on canvas
    Oskar Reinhart Foundation (Winterthur, Switzerland)

    Carol Gerten Fine Art Index
    Added: 2001-12-12
    Woman with a Parrot

    1866
    Oil on canvas
    Metropolitan Museum of Art (Manhattan, New York, United States)

    Added: 2001-12-12

    H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929

    Woman with a Parrot
    The Meeting

    1854
    Oil on canvas
    Musee Fabre (Montpellier, Languedoc, France)

    Carol Gerten Fine Art Index
    Added: 2001-12-12
    The Young Ladies of the Village

    1851-1852
    Oil on canvas
    Metropolitan Museum of Art (Manhattan, New York, United States)

    Carol Gerten Fine Art Index
    Added: 2001-12-12
    The Shaded Stream

    1865
    Oil on canvas
    Musee d'Orsay (Paris, France)

    Carol Gerten Fine Art Index
    Added: 2001-12-12
    The Shaded Stream
    The Source

    1868
    Oil on canvas
    128 x 97 cm
    (50.39" x 38.19")
    Musee d'Orsay (Paris, France)

    Added: 2003-01-21
    A Thicket of Deer at the Stream of Plaisir­Fountaine

    Oil on canvas
    Musee d'Orsay (Paris, France)

    Added: 2003-01-21