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Flirting with controversy: Gustave Courbet
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    Flirting with controversy:
    Courbet and taboo in the 19thcentury
  • 2. Gustave Courbet (1819-1877)
    Courbet lived through one of the most violent crises of French history: the Commune, in which he participated actively.
  • 3. RealismPhotographEveryday ImagesNot glamorousNot emotional/feelingReal life situations
  • 4. Flirting with controversy: Courbet and taboo in the 19th century
    This lecture should:
    • Explore why Courbet is considered to be the most important French Realist
    • 5. Contextualise Courbet’s art within the social history of the period
    • 6. Explore his political orientation and involvement
    • 7. Address the critical reaction to his work
    • 8. Discuss why his ideas and approach to art were regarded as subversive and why he was accused of attempting to undermine not only the Academy but also the State.
  • Courbet: The Roots of Modern Art
    Modernity and Modernism:
    • Societal changes prompted a greater consciousness of and interest in modernity, which resulted in the development of modernism in art in the second half of the nineteenth century.
    • 9. Modernist artists seek to capture the images and sensibilities of their age while also subjecting the premises of art itself to critical examination.
    • 10. The two major modernist art movements of the later nineteenth century are Realism and Impressionism.
    • 11. Toward the end of the century, modernism led to the development of the avant-garde (artists whose work emphatically rejected the past and transgressed the boundaries of conventional artistic practice).
    • The National Academies controlled what was considered “art” by controlling teaching and displaying of art works
    • 12. The Salon was the official art exhibition of the French Academy of Fine Arts (Academie des Beaux-Arts) in Paris
    • 13. The Salons were state-run art exhibitions held every two years in France, which was juried by artists and critics
  • French Realism
    • Realism developed in France around the mid-century. Its leading figure was Gustave Courbet
    • 14. Redefining Reality: Realists focused attention on the experiences and sights of everyday contemporary life
    • 15. Not only a style of art and literature which presented life as it was, but also a philosophy committed to contemporary social issues
  • Realism:To give a truthful, objective and impartial representation of the real world, based on meticulous observation of contemporary life.(Linda Nochlin)
  • 16. The Development of Realism
    • Rapid Social and Political Change
    • 17. Emergence of History as a Scientific Discipline
    • 18. The Changing Relationship between the Artist and the Academy
  • Excerpts from Courbet’s 1855 Realist Manifesto ‘…painting should consist only of real and existing things’‘…to go backwards is to do nothing’‘…painting can only consist of objects which are visible and tangible for the artist’‘…an epoch can only be reproduced by its own artists’
  • 19. Daumier, The Uprising (1860)
  • 20. Daumier, The Fugitives(c. 1849-50)
  • 21. Daumier, Third Class Carriage (1862)
  • 22. Manet, The Street Singer (1863))
    Manet, Spanish Singer (1860-62))
  • 23. Manet, The Old Musician,1862
    Manet, The Fifer,1866
  • 24. Manet, The Absinthe Drinker, 1858
    Manet, The Spanish Ballet, 1862
  • 25. Degas, The Glass of Absinthe (1876)
  • 26. Degas, Race horses, 1866-68
  • 27. Daumier,
    Clown Playing a Drumc. 1865-67
    The Two Lawyers
    (c. 1862-64 )
  • 28. Vendôme Column
    A symbol of Napoleon III's power
    Courbet was considered as an accomplice in the debunking of the Vendôme Column- a symbol of Napoleon III's power - he was imprisoned and tried by the war council.
  • 29. Manet, Portrait of Zola (1867-8)
  • 30. Millet, The Gleaners (1857)
  • 31. Charles Baudelaire
  • 32. Gustave Courbet.  The Stone Breakers. 1849 (destroyed during World War II)
  • 33.
  • 34. Gustave Courbet
    The Peasants of Flagey Returning from the Fair, 1850-55
  • 35. Academy
    • Another important factor in the growth of a Realist approach was the changing position of the Academy
    • 36. The Academy was essentially the art establishment, based in various locations across France (with similar systems in other European countries)
    • 37. It was set up in France in the mid 17th century and was essentially a system of state controlled art education and patronage
    • 38. The Academy adhered to strict principles about what constituted good or bad in painting – which is where the hierarchy of genres came from, with history painting at the top and genre and still life at the bottom. It also promoted the idea that the finest works of art were those of the past
    • 39. The training of artists in the Academy system was based on the study of antique sculpture and old master paintings such as Raphael.
  • Gustave Courbet, A Burial at Ornans, (1849-1850)
  • 40. David, The Death of Marat (1793)
  • 41. Lampooning the Powers That Be
    In his lithograph, Rue Transnonain, Honoré (1834) Daumier depicts in a factual manner an atrocity that took place in a workers' housing block on a street in Paris.
  • 42. David, Jacques-Louis The Death of Socrates 1787
  • 43. Manet, The Suicide, late 1870s
  • 44.
  • 45. Alexandre Cabanel,Birth of Venus (1863)
  • 46. Created scandal not only because the subject matter but also by the unconventional way it was painted.
    The Origin of the World
    L'Origine du monde(1866)
  • 47.
  • 48. Ingres, The Bather (1808)
    Courbet, The Bathers (1853)
  • 49.
  • 50.
  • 51. Nicolas Poussin, Landscape with Orpheus and Eurydice(1650-1)
  • 52. Claude Lorrain, Coast Scene with the Rape of Europa1667
  • 53. GustaveCourbet,Deer in the Forest (1868)
  • 54. Courbet Gustave, The Oak at Flagey (1864)
  • 55. Gustave Courbet
    The Artist's Studio (L'Atelier du peintre): A Real Allegory of a Seven Year Phase in my Artistic and Moral Life (1855)
  • 56. Right side=positive influence
    The “exploited”
    The Naked truth
    Napoleon III as a tyrant
    LARGE signature
    Landscape is Ornans
  • 57. Courbet, Le Désespéré (The Desperate Man) (1844-1845)
  • 58. Discussion
    Courbet painted non-traditional subjects in a broad manner contrary to the accepted academic style. Why was Courbet painting pictures that he knew would upset people?
  • 59. References
    • Clark, T.J. (1973) The Absolute Bourgeois, Artist and Politics in France 1848-1851. Thames and Hudson, London
    • 60. Doesschate Chu, Petra ten. (1977) Courbet in Perspective. Prentice Hall, UK
    • 61. Fried, Michael.(1990) Courbet’s realism. U Chicago P
    • 62. Faunce, Sarah. (1988) Courbet reconsidered. Brooklyn museum, USA
    • 63. Morton, Mary G. (2006) Courbet and the modern landscape. Paul Getty Museum
    • 64. Chu, Petra ten-Doesschate. (2007) The most arrogant man in France: Gustave Courbet and the nineteenth-century media culture. Princeton University Press, Oxford
    • 65. Rubin, James Henry. (1980) Realism and social vision in Courbet & Proudhon. Princeton University Press