|The Meeting (Bonjour Monsieur Courbet), Gustave Courbet, 1854|
This week I’m on the road. I’ve left you with six landscape paintings that should be on everyone’s Top Ten list, but probably aren’t (for the simple reason that there are way too many great paintings out there).
Courbet was one cocky artist, and he knew how to work at his own celebrity. In this painting, Courbet painted himself meeting his patron and supporter, Alfred Bruyas. The servant is—duh!—servile, but patron and artist are meeting on the same social plane. Gone is any idea of the artist as a hired hand; here Courbet announces his own genius.
Courbet was controversial, charismatic and absolutely political. He was uncompromisingly realistic in both his landscape and figure painting (which were, in some cases, absolutely pornographic). I can’t aspire to his artistic genius, but I sure like his approach to life. On the other hand, he died of liver failure at age 58.
Join me in October, 2013 at Lakewatch Manor—which is selling out fast—or let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in 2014. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops!