THE RURAL REALISM OF GUSTAVE COURBET
As a self-proclaimed “Realist” in a highly charged political atmosphere, Gustave Courbet challenged the conventions of the French Salon system. For ten years, Courbet had waited his chance to break through in the Parisian Salons but his provincial outsider status made him an “outsider” artist. However, the Revolution of 1848 gave the artist an opportunity and his subject matter changed to life in the small towns of France. During the 1850s, Courbet confronted the indignant bourgeoisie audience of Paris with the realities of small town French life on large scale canvases. These huge paintings elevated peasant life to the status of history paintings and the lower classes to the level of heroes. This podcast follows the construction of the career of Gustave Courbet during the critical decade of the 1850s.
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