Well-known author of the painting “the origin of the world” Gustave Courbet

Well-known author of the painting “the origin of the world” Gustave Courbet

French artist Gustave Courbet, who wrote the scandalous erotic film “Origin of the world”, shook society of the nineteenth century for his realistic canvases on which he painted historical and biblical scenes, as it was made, and the daily lives of ordinary people.


Gustave Courbet was born in 1819 in Ornans, a small commune in the French region of Franche-comté, in the family of a prosperous farmer. The love of family and his native region Courbet maintained throughout life and reflected in his paintings.

Landscapes of Franche-comté, the artist repeatedly used as the background for his paintings and left many portraits of his relatives, whom he also often portrayed as the characters of his paintings.

In 20 years, Courbet came to Paris to go to law school, but later refused from this idea. He spent a lot of time in the Louvre making copies of the works of Rembrandt, Rubens, Caravaggio and Titian. Among the French artists he liked eugène Delacroix (Delacroix, his works too), the most vivid representative of French romanticism, author of the famous “Liberty leading the people” (1830).

However, Courbet sought to find his own direction in painting.

He wrote some of his self-portraits, including “self-Portrait with black dog”, which was exhibited at the Paris salon of 1844, the prestigious annual French exhibition and the official exhibition of the Paris Academy of fine arts.

Academics the style of Courbet was not accepted.


The tradition of academic painting of the XIX century demanded on a large volume canvas only depicted historical, biblical or mythological subjects. However, Courbet ignored these rules and painted on large canvases familiar to him from childhood scenes of rural life. According to the artist, the stories describing the modernity of France, deserved such large formats.