Collection: Gustave Courbet

Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) was a French painter who led the Realism movement in 19th-century art. Born in Ornans, France, he studied art in Paris before returning to his hometown where he began to paint scenes from everyday life, often featuring working-class people. His bold and honest depictions of ordinary life challenged the traditional academic art of the time and were considered scandalous by some.Courbet's most famous work is his massive painting "The Artist's Studio," which depicts himself working on a canvas surrounded by figures from all walks of life. He also painted many landscapes and seascapes, often depicting the rugged terrain of his native Franche-Comté region.Courbet's artistic vision was closely tied to his political beliefs, and he was an outspoken critic of the French government and its institutions. He was a key figure in the Paris Commune of 1871 and was later forced into exile in Switzerland, where he continued to paint until his death.