The modern manifesto

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`A Burial at Ornans'
`A Burial at Ornans'

In Gustave Courbet's hands, the ordinary took on a monumental aspect

Gustave Courbet was born on June 10, 1819, into a prosperous farming family in the French village of Ornan. He went to Paris in 1841 ostensibly to study law. However, he learnt painting instead. His Self-Portrait with a Black Dog was accepted in 1844. He did every kind of painting, from portraits to nudes as well as seascapes, which had a strong influence on the Impressionists. A socialist, Courbet was the archetypal bohemian artist and took part in the revolution of 1848, for which he was imprisoned in 1871 and was also fined. Unable to pay the fine, he fled France for Switzerland where he died on December 31, 1877. "In our so very civilised society, it is necessary for me to live the life of a savage. I must be free even of governments. The people have my sympathies, I must address myself to them directly," Courbet wrote.In his hands, the ordinary took on a monumental aspect. Ever the radical thinker, when his proposal for his artist's studio was turned down in 1855, he chose to erect his own pavilion and exhibit his paintings. The Realist Manifesto that was printed along with the brochure set the template for the impressionists and also for modern art.Mini Anthikad-Chhibber




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