Tuesday, 9 June 2015



Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet (10 June 1819–31 December 1877) was a pre impressionist French painter. He was the leader of the 19th-century French Realist movement. Courbet is noted for two reasons: Firstly, he tried new ideas and ways of painting and secondly, his paintings made social comment - he wasn't afraid to depict "real life" with all it's flaws.

Courbets paintings were an inspiration to many painters, particularly the French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec were all inspired by Gustave Courbets portraits. His landscape paintings inspired Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Paul Cezanne and many more. - Wikipedia

I've seen work by Gustav Courbet, but I had no idea he was such a radical. Of course, I should have known when I saw ORIGIN OF THE WORLD (click on the link - warning graphic nudity) in the Musée d'Orsay, Paris. There is also his famous self-portrait THE DESPERATE MAN (pictured) which fascinates people to this day and seems quite modern in approach. Even the signature seems radical.

1819, 10 June born in Ornans, France
1840s Studied Law in Paris where he was influenced by Masterpieces in The Louvre
1855 Rebellious one man exhibition in Paris
1871 Imprisoned for destruction of the Vendome column
1873 Fled to Switzerland
31 December 1877 died aged 58 at La-Tour-de-Peilz and buried in Ornans.