Published: February 19, 2008
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present “Gustave Courbet, Radical and Rebellious Nineteenth Century Artist,” on view February 27⁍ay 18 in the museum’s Tisch Galleries, second floor.
A pioneering figure in the history of Modernism, Gustave Courbet (1819‱877) was constantly at odds with authority. He rejected artistic convention, challenged academic norms and created artworks that scandalized the public. By rebelling against tradition, he paved the way for the Impressionists and, through them, modern art.
More than 130 oil paintings and works on paper by the provocative artist, brought together from museums and private collections in Europe and the United States, will be displayed here in his first full retrospective in more than 30 years. The landmark traveling exhibition explores his career in all media and includes a selection of Nineteenth Century photographs that relate to his work, especially his landscapes and nudes.
Gary Tinterow, the Engelhard Curator in Charge of the Department of Nineteenth Century, Modern and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan, said, “Courbet was one of the first painters to cultivate the image of the rebellious artist. Never one to avoid controversy, he disregarded the expectations of his family, challenged the conservatism of the Academy and bristled against the strictures of society.”
The exhibition is arranged chronologically, with some galleries devoted to specific themes: early self-portraits, Ornans paintings, nudes and Courbet and photography.
The exhibition will include several of Courbet’s seminal paintings from the early 1850s, which depict the customs of Ornans.
Also on view will be a selection of Courbet’s nudes, revealing the modernity of his approach to the genre. Idealized female nudes proliferated at the Salons in Paris during the Second Empire, and Courbet challenged the status quo with his sensuous and provocative “Woman with a Parrot,” 1865‶6, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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