Gustave Courbet Research Paper
Vivid and bright, his pictures fill me with emotions that I can not describe at once. They are true. The way we see the world I think. I see his picture The Desperate Man, but I do not even need to know the title of this canvas. I know it looking into the eyes of the man. Passionate and desperate. His eyes. I can read everything in them but it is not an alive person in front of me. It is a picture, the man is the painter’s invention. But it does not matter at all. I see his life in his eyes and his wrung hands, clutching his hair. He is young but he has suffered. Swollen veins, simple clothes. He is a worker. Stop. I have got carried away, but it is justified by Courbet’s talent.
Is his painting typical for the nineteenth century art? Being a founder of realism, he revolutionized the canons of western art. Even for the canons of realism, which he created, he was an innovator. He never tried to reach the perfection of lines and of form. Everything should be natural, including any drawbacks and imperfection of people, nature, relations. Both his landscapes and portraits bear this imprint of his desire to depict everything as it is. No linking with past – past time, past traditions of art, past ideals.
Sharp lines, nothing extra, clear images of people. We see everything: their pain, happiness, worries – all tinges of feelings… it is amazing. It seems we see a photograph of a moment taken out of life. Jo, the Beautiful Irish Woman, Young Ladies on the Bank of the Seine, The Meeting… These pictures seem so simple and so clear. The author says what he wants to say, nothing more, nothing is hidden. Everything is on the surface. But we see the real life of people without any embellishment.
Another picture and another flow of emotions and thoughts… This time it is a landscape – a sea-piece. You cast a glance at the picture and you want to step back – it seems the wave will wash you away. It is formidable, massive, but it bewitches you. You can not look aside and you can not move… This wave evokes something in you, something rebellious and hidden. The Wave – simply and briefly. But the title is as the picture – nothing extra – only feelings, perhaps that I have never felt before.
Is it necessary to tell whether these pictures are fresh nowadays? If not, then why do they fascinate and make revolution in you? Will I be too audacious if I say that Courbet’s works are beyond analysis? Something special, not similar to others, at least, it seems to me so. Despite the depicted time, people’s feelings and problems remain the same. The epoch does not matter, if we are able to empathize with others, to feel and to hear what others want to tell us. Do not pay attention to the clothes of Courbet’s characters and it will seem to you that these are people from the house next door…
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