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Original works of art

Gustave Courbet
(French, 1819 -1877 )

Courbet was the principal proponent of the French Realist School, staging a long battle with the French establishment to have it recognised. The movement gained impetus almost entirely because of Courbet's leadership. In 1855 he exhibited his work at a private pavilion outside the Exposition Universelle, where his work had been refused, advertising it with the placard, "Le Realisme." A similar pavilion outside the 1867 Exposition contained 120 works.

Rejecting idealisation in painting, his works were drawn from nature and presented many aspects of life with an unsentimental directness, and often on a grand scale which had up until then been reserved for more "elevated" subject matters.

Courbet's interest in dogs was sparked when he attended a hunt held in his honour in Munich when he was there to exhibit his work. He had a great influence on French, German, Dutch and in particular Belgian animal.


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