Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet or Gustave Courbet, the highly temperamental and notorious Realist painter, was born at Ornans in France on June 10, 1819, in a wealthy family of farmers. He studied at the Seminary under Cardinal Gousset, in his native town. Courbet later on went to study mathematics for a year under Prof. Delle at the Royal College of Besançon. It was here that the artist decided to take up painting, as he was dissatisfied with the classical subjects being taught at the college. In 1838, he registered himself as an extern to attend the classes of Charles Flajoulot, the director of the école des Beaux-Arts. In 1840, Courbet’s father sent him to Paris to study law. Courbet however, concentrated on painting and spent most of his time at Louvre, studying the works of Caravaggio.Courbet is known for coining the term Realism, as he was interested in portraying things as they were. He extensively traveled across Europe. The voyage proved enlightening and strengthened his belief that painters should canvass the life around them, as Rembrandt, Hals, and the others had done. Spanish, Flemish, and the French style of paintings especially inspired him. He generally painted seascapes, landscapes, portraits, nudes,… Read full this story
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