The Woman in the Waves by Gustave Courbet

The Woman in the Waves

(Die Frau in den Wellen)

Gustave Courbet

Naturalism  ·  Female nude  ·  Our favourites
The Woman in the Waves by Gustave Courbet
1868   ·  Öl auf Leinwand  ·  10.81 Megapixel  ·  Picture ID: 31682
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Gustave Courbet is one of those painters of the 19th century who revolutionized painting and exerted a lasting influence on the artists of the following generations. Uncompromising as he was, he strictly refused to operate his art in accordance with the conventions and tastes of the masses. Courbet despised the elitist academic-symbolist painting of his day. Rather, he sought a democratically realistic style of painting, with which he expressed the sensual reality on the one hand and the underlying idealistic truth to the other. With this, and also with his direct style of painting emphasizing the brushstroke, he laid the foundation for Impressionist painting.

Courbet finished "The Woman in the Waves" in 1868, right in the middle of his realistic period. On the other hand, while looking aesthetically into the future, the image also contains traditional elements. The woman in the lake is undecided as a motive. It could be a simple woman of the people, with which Courbet would have satisfied its democratic and social aspect. On the other hand, the figure has at the same time mythological and romantic features, which the artist makes clear with the suggested hair and the mannered pose. It is the classic and timeless motif of a bather, which Courbet refers to here and will still employ many an artist after him, especially Paul Cézanne and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

With the provocative of the motive Courbet again opposed the academic conventions of his time. The woman is placed in the foreground of the room, so she masters the entire composition. She jumps into the eye of the beholder as well as the individual parts of her bare upper body, which the painter exposes in a provocative way. While the lowered head and the dreamy gaze anchor her in the realm of the mythological, her plump breasts and her armpit hair are of this world. The situation is similar with the other room and picture elements. The gloomy background and the lighting of the foreground give the scenery an exciting drama, while the representation of the water and the waves testify to the detail of the realist Courbet. © Meisterdrucke
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Other art prints by Gustave Courbet
Lunch break during the hay harvest The Origin of the World Nude woman, study for "Woman with parrot" The Woman with White Stockings The Awakening of Saint Jerome, a copy after the work by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (1591-1666), 1841 Burial at Ornans, 1849-50 The Cliffs at Etretat, 1869 After the Hunt, c.1859 The Font The wave Louis Gueymard as Robert the Devil The Shepherdess (The spinner Breton) The Barricade  The Desperate Man (Self Portrait), 1843-45 Snow Effect in a Quarry
Other motives from the category Female nude
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Die Frau in den Wellen (AT) Die Frau in den Wellen (DE) Die Frau in den Wellen (CH) The Woman in the Waves (US) La donna tra le onde (IT) La femme dans les vagues (FR) De vrouw in de golven (NL) La mujer en las olas (ES) Женщина в волнах (RU) लहरों में स्त्री (HI) 波浪中的女人 (ZH) A mulher nas ondas (PT)

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