School of Courbet
| Image Notes
References: See Artist's Note.
| Artist's Notes
In this painting I have quoted the following works by Courbet. The Winnowers, 1853-1854, Muse des Beaux-Arts, Nantes; The Artist's Studio, 1855, Muse d'Orsay, Paris; The Meeting (Good Morning Monsieur Courbet), 1854, Fabre Museum, Montpellier; The Village Maidens, 1851, City Art Gallery, Leeds.
Thinking about a School of Courbet I thought first of Courbet's The Winnowers, for me one of Courbet's most appealing paintings. His depiction of the two women separating grain is enviably well executed, with just the right weight and placement, and with a masterly pull and rendering of fabric. How could I put these women in a schoolroom? They are placed at the left in Courbet's painting and I thought it best to keep them to the left when beginning my own composition, using their weight as the main force in my rectangle. Next I thought of Courbet's memorable epic painting The Artist's Studio in which Courbet places, exactly at the center of the painting, an image of himself as the artist seated at the easel, painting a landscape on a large canvas. His nude model stands behind him, watching over his shoulder as he paints, and a little boy, his back to us, stands at the artist's knee, also watching him paint. Although I included the boy in my studies for School of Courbet he is not present in my final version of the painting. This is not a school day and school is not in session. A country schoolroom is used for many things, for voting, for meetings, even for winnowing grain. If, then, adults have taken over the schoolroom for their own use I can introduce visitors from another Courbet painting, the two men, their dog at their side, who meet Courbet out walking in the countryside with his painter's supplies and equipment on his back. "Good morning, Mr. Courbet," they greet him. He sees them standing against one of his landscapes. It is a typical day in the painter's life, one when the artist uses his time, and the schoolroom, for other things than lessons. (George Deem, New York, May 10, 1998).
Capricorn Galleries, Bethesda, Maryland