Gustave Courbet: Taschen Basic Art
Fabrice, Dr. MasanesISBN: 3822856835;
Unsentimental realism "I maintain," stated Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), "that painting is clearly a concrete art whose existence lies only in the representation of real and existing objects...." Courbet, who influenced and advised the fledgling Impressionists, was an outstanding representative of a naturalistic realism that highlights the contradictions and inequities in society. Revolutionary were Courbet's style, with dark hues and heavy brushstrokes, and choice of subject?depictions the life of plain people treated in an unsentimental, down to earth manner. His influence was enormous during his lifetime; he was offered the cross of the Legion of Honor in 1872 but he refused it. A man always at odds with authority, be it artistic or political, Courbet became a member of the Paris Commune and was briefly imprisoned and forced to flee to Switzerland for the final years of his life.
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