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Misfit: Henri Fantin-Latour 1 First flowers
Painters of note in France during the latter half of the nineteenth century are generally quite easy to classify. There were Impressionists, some of whom became Divisionists and/or Post-Impressionists, Realists and Naturalists (whose work I have covered quite extensively here), the Nabis at the end of the century, and... Read more
Bicentenary of Gustave Courbet, a founding father of modern art
Two hundred years ago today, Gustave Courbet was born in the country town of Ornans in Doubs, in the north-east of France. His paintings were of great influence in the development of art throughout Europe and North America. In my recent series of six articles examining his career and... Read more
Gustave Courbet 6: Into exile
By the end of the 1860s, Gustave Courbet (1819–1877) had matured from being an enfant terrible, becoming a darling of the liberals. As an act of appeasement, the Emperor Napoleon III nominated Courbet to the Legion of Honour, but the artist stood fast and refused. His popularity grew. As... Read more
Gustave Courbet 5: Waves and caves
Best-known if not infamous for his erotic nudes during the 1860s, Gustave Courbet (1819–1877) in fact painted far more interesting works over the decade, although reading and explaining them may be more difficult. While our attention may be focussed on those popular displays of desirable flesh, Courbet’s certainly wasn’t.... Read more
The First Impressionist? Johan Jongkind’s Bicentenary – Decline
By the end of the 1860s, Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819-1891) had painted with several of the founders of French Impressionism, and had a major impact on their styles and plein air painting techniques. However, he continued to work outside their circle, where he was well-received critically but not a... Read more
The First Impressionist? Johan Jongkind’s Bicentenary – Impressionism
The Dutch landscape painter Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819-1891) was still struggling for a breakthrough when he was working in France in 1855, so he returned to the Netherlands, where he set up his studio in Rotterdam. In 1857, he visited Paris briefly, where he dined with Gustave Courbet, Camille... Read more
The Dutch Nabi: Meijer de Haan
At around 0300 on 16 October 2012, thieves broke into the Kunsthal in Rotterdam and made off with a small haul of modern masters. A couple of Monet’s paintings of London, one each by Picasso, Matisse, Gauguin, and Lucian Freud. The fate of those paintings remains unknown, although the... Read more
The First Impressionist? Johan Jongkind’s Bicentenary – first period in France
Four great painters who are candidates for the role of First Impressionist, before Monet, Pissarro, Renoir and the rest of the core members of the movement in France, include: Camille Corot (1796-1875), the major landscape painter who was ‘father’ to the movement, Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819–1891), whose painterly landscapes... Read more
Gustave Courbet 2: The group
Before the young Gustave Courbet (1819–1877) had even completed The Stone Breakers, he had already started work on an even greater masterpiece, A Burial at Ornans, one of the canonical paintings of the century. Gustave Courbet (1819–1877), A Burial at Ornans (1849-50), oil on canvas, 315 x 668 cm,... Read more
Gustave Courbet 1: The Desperate Man
Among the immediate precursors to the great art movements of the late nineteenth century, Naturalism and Impressionism, were Eugène Delacroix, Camille Corot, and Gustave Courbet (1819–1877). In a month’s time, we’ll be celebrating the bicentenary of Courbet’s birth, and I hope that you’ll join me in this short series... Read more