Thursday, March 17, 2011


Gustave Courbet - The Artist's Studio (1855)

Realists aspired to paint what they saw, even what was dirty and unpleasant. The Artist's Studio can be read as Courbet's critique of this failure to engage with the real world as he saw it: the artist's studio is grimy and crowded, but the painting on his canvas shows a beautiful landscape which bears no relation to the world in which the artist lives. Courbet was also showing himself to be both a master of Realist painting and of the style of painting he was rejecting.

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