COURBET, Gustave
(b. 1819, Ornans, d. 1877, La Tour-de-Peilz)

The Hunt Breakfast

Oil on canvas, 207 x 325 cm
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

In 1855 Gustave Courbet organized an exhibition in Paris entirely of his own painting which he called "Le Réalisme". This title defined not only Courbet's artistic conviction but gave a name to a new style. For Courbet, only what was empirically there could be represented, and then only in the form and the colour of the original subject. This approach was in conflict with the then current doctrine of art, the Academy, and also the views of the majority of artists. His large painting The Hunt Breakfast of 1858 is an impressive example of his approach., an everyday scene rendered exactly in ordinary, subdued colours.

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