Gustave Courbet was a french painter who led the Realist movement in 19th century french painting. He was born in  Ornans, France on June 10th 1819. He moved to Paris and worked at the studio of Steuben and Hesse. He soon left, though, to develop his own style by studying other artist's work. He went to the Netherlands and Belgium and soon realized that artists should paint the world around them as other Dutch painters had done. So he painted his first Realism painting: "the stone breakers.". He continues painting for many years and eventually returned to Paris. In 1871, Courbet insisted in executing the Communal decree for the destruction of the Vendôme column. This never happened but in September of that same year, he was sentenced to 6 months in prison and a fine of 500 francs. Then in 1873, the newly elected president Mac-Mahon wanted to resurrect the column and signaled out Courbet to pay it (a fine of 323,091 franc 68 cent). Because he wasn't able to pay, he left France and moved to Switzerland. The cost wasn't finalized until May 4th, 1877. They said he could pay it in 10,000 franc yearly installments until his 91st birthday (about 33 years from then). Fortunately for him, he died right before the first payment was due. On December 31st, 1877 in La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland.  

 Some of Courbet's Pieces:

 The Wounded Man (1844)

The painting "The Wounded Man" was painted by Gustave Courbet in 1844. He painted it because one of the things he did was draw himself over the years to show how he grew as a person and an artist. Their were two versions to this painting. The first one, had a woman leaning over his shoulder. The second version (painted 10 years later) had the woman replaced with a sword and a red mark (blood) over Courbet's heart. This was done to show the before and after of a love affair. 

A Burial At Ornans (1849)

 The painting "A Burial at Ornans" was painted by Gustave Courbet in 1849. The painting is his Grand-Uncle's funeral which he attended. This picture was different than other's because Courbet used the actual people who had been there for the funeral. This was different because in the past, artists had used models and not the actual people for their paintings. This painting being painted resulted in a realistic presentation of the people who were there, and life in Ornans. 

The Artist's Studio (1855)

 The painting "The Artist's Studio" was painted by Gustave Courbet in 1855. It was started in late 1854 and only took 6 weeks for him to complete. Courbet had said "The world comes to be painted at my studio." so he showed that in his painting. Everything in the painting were representations of influences on his life. On the left, the human figures represented people from all levels of society. In the middle behind Courbet who is painting a landscape scene, is a nude model. She is a symbol of academic art tradition. On the right are all of his friends and associates. The painting was used to show who had really influenced him in his life.

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