Gustave Courbet

For the exercise on ‘Annotating a Realist Image’ I chose an image by Gustave Courbet and as I didn’t know a lot about him I did some research.

He was a French artist who led the ‘Realist’ movement which bridged the ‘Romantic’ movement and ‘Impressionism’.  He was considered an innovator and also made bold statements about social issues in his work such as the conditions the poor of his country worked in.

WARNING Explicit material follows so if you are in the least prudish look away 🙂

I was surprised to see that some of his work was very explicit especially for the times he lived in.  Although we think of the 19th century i’e Victorian era as very prudish the more I read and see about the period it wasn’t as straight laced as we are lead to believe.   He did this painting in 1866 but it was not publicly exhibited until 1888.


In 2008 I went to John Moores 25 at The Walker Art Gallery here in Liverpool and this was one of the painting exhibited.


It just shows that there is nothing new in art it has all been done before in some shape or form and in my opinion much better by Courbet.  You wouldn’t want either one on your wall though in polite company.



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