How the French master of Realism launched an unvarnished and brooding vision of nature
With a vehement, political commitment to Realism in art, French painter Gustave Courbet embraced the harsh beauty of the natural world in his landscapes. The French countryside and the islands of Lake Geneva are represented as Courbet himself saw them, with overcast skies and muddy beaches captured in rich dark tones, and limestone cliffs rendered with the sharp stroke of a palette knife. This volume presents a series of important pieces by Courbet, sourced mainly from the collections of the Gustave Courbet Institute and the Musée Courbet of Ornans, as well as artworks by other 19th-century painters influenced by his style. The publication also delves into the significant contributions of art critic George Besson and painter Guy Bardone, both of whom were dedicated to the preservation of Courbet’s complicated legacy through the acquisition of the artist’s birthplace in Ornans and the conservation of his art.