Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Gustave Courbet wanted to paint reality

The Desperate Man (1843-1845), self-portrait by Gustave Courbet.
It is the birthday of French painter Gustave Courbet (1819), whose issues with the Romantic style of art, with its heroic themes and its natural settings, led to the Realism style in the 19th century. Courbet believed painters should depict scenes based on real life they had observed. In pursuit of his idea, he produced many self-portraits, including The Desperate Man (1843-1845). Scholars say his work A Burial at Omans (1849-1850), is one of his most important works. It depicts the funeral of his grand uncle, and is notable for including the actual people who attended the funeral. That was a distinct departure from the Romantic style that used actors to portray characters. Courbet’s ideas developed a substantial following. His work influenced later artists such as Edouard Manet, James McNeill Whistler, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, and Edward Hopper.

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