A funeral in Ornans

Gustave Courbet • Painting, 1850, 668×315 cm
Digital copy: 4.6 MB
6042 × 2777 px • JPEG
50 × 23.6 cm • 299 dpi
102.3 × 47.0 cm • 150 dpi
51.2 × 23.5 cm • 300 dpi
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About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Genre scene
Style of art: Realism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1850
Size: 668×315 cm
Artwork in selections: 50 selections
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Description of the artwork «A funeral in Ornans»

In 1849, died, Jean-Antoine, Udo – the grandfather of Gustave Courbet's maternal line. Courbet was very much attached to this man, so after receiving the sad news, immediately left on the small native village of ornans.
Upon returning to the capital he presented at the Paris Salon picture "Funeral in Ornans". This seemingly innocuous Prime Minister nearly turned into a funeral reputation of the Courbet.

Hard to believe, but Courbet's contemporaries considered it in the traditional sense of technology and looking (by today's standards) old-fashioned cloth, first, revolutionary and innovative. And secondly - it is offensive and unacceptable.

Courbet was subjected to fierce criticism and his painting became the subject of numerous cartoon parodies. One of the reviewers wrote: "A huge black sheet that takes a lot of place, immediately attracts attention... In fact, it's surprisingly ugly. Imagine the canvas size in eight or ten meters, which seems cut from a different cloth in fifty meters, because all the characters lined up as a ruler in the foreground of the picture are in the same plane and kind of represent the episode of great scenery. No prospects, location, composition, all the rules of the art is tilted and poured contempt".

However, the main complaint, which was filed Courbet, was the fact that the plot required a heroic pathos or of biblical proportions, he casually moved to an ordinary French province.

Interestingly, Courbet exhibited at the Paris Salon paintings "Afternoon in Ornans" and "Breaker of stones" also depict the everyday life of commoners, was received favorably.

Parisian aristocrats were ready to be touched country scenes in which the black drink or waving a pickaxe. However, the issues of life and death in the rural context, there is already smacked of socialism.

Throughout his life, Gustave Courbet remained true to his own creative principles. However, it is possible that his devotion to realism was due to the fact that Courbet simply didn't matter with imagination. No wonder, acquainted with Corot, Courbet once said: "I'm not a master like you, sir, Corot. I'm compelled to write only what I see".

Author: Andrew Zimoglyadov