Gustave Courbet au Grand Palais


I don’t know much about art and painting and was never really fond of going to art exhibitions. I hate standing in line to buy my ticket and always felt that exhibitions were extremely crowded, that I found them more tiring than enjoyable
Ever since I retired, I started booking ahead of time, which gets rid of the queueing problem, but not of the crowds that decide to go to the same exhibition as me. How dare they?
Now this gets even worse in small museums. I recently went to Musée du Luxembourg where they had a wonderful Arcimboldo exhibition (wrote about it and grumbled a lot on my French blog) but last Friday, was different: I went to the great Gustave Courbet retrospective at the Galeries du Grand Palais and really loved it.
I had booked my ticket, so didn’t queue and as Grand Palais is a large place, and as the exhibition had only opened a few days before, it was not too crowded.

Courbet poster

Courbet au Grand Palais

For some reason, most probably because I am an ignoramus where art is concerned, I hardly knew any paintings by Courbet except the famous Origine du Monde, and Les Demoiselles du Bord de Seine.
I cannot believe that I actually went several times to Musée d’Orsay and didn’t remember l’Enterrement à Ornans and l’Atelier du Peintre. They didn’t even ring a bell! Good thing they decided to put all these together to fix my ignorance!
Shame on me 🙂
My favourite paintings there, were Courbet’s self-portraits and portraits. There was a whole section dedicated to hunting paintings, and honestly, I didn’t enjoy those much.

One little detail which I found really nice was that there was a digital device that showed you the pages of Courbet’s sketching book if you leant over it, slowly turning the pages while the actual sketchbook was in a window next to the device. A useful bit of modernity.

11 thoughts on “Gustave Courbet au Grand Palais

  1. I used to see all the exhibitions that came to our museum, but about 10 years ago, I ceased doing that – to my detriment. I rediscovered my love of it in Europe last fall, and I have vowed to again attend as many as I can.

  2. a certain weirdness to archimboldo’s work has always fascinated me. sadly i cannot read french, so will have to hope for enlightenment in another life. enjoyed the jars you pictured along with his painting; made up my own text.

  3. Claude, Some years back when we lived in Washington,D.C. I frequently went to all the major exhibits at the National Gallery of Art. I would always rent the audio tour so I would not be so lost and this helped my understanding and enjoyment.

    I decided that my favorite artist was Matisse. His paintings were so happy,vibrant and colorful.

  4. Art and museums are the things that I miss most living out here amongst the sheep. I soak that stuff up like a sponge when I get the chance! I have always been interested in his work. Origine du Monde still shocks people, especially the tourists. 😉

  5. I do hope I have a chance to get to Paris to catch this exhibition. I have seen quite a few ( especially the big ones) at Musee D’Orsay and also got a good appreciation of his work at le musee Gustave Courbet @ Ornans

    The National gallery of Art in DC, the Art Instutute of Chicago and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam have some of his works in their collections

  6. Wow, Courbet — I would love to see this. I have an art history degree from Chicago and remember the works in the Art Institute but I never really saw enough of Courbet’s works. thanks to The Beaver for the link. By the way, Claude, I recommended your blog to a friend who is going to Paris next month, after she asked about your picture of the girl in red which I have as my wallpaper.

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  9. I had been searching for a exhibition poster of Courbet’s A DESPERATE MAN, when I stumbled on to your blog. My favourite painting are also his self-portraits, A DESPERATE MAN being the foremost.
    Does anyone know where I may obtain a copy of the Courbet au Grand Palais poster featured on your blog? I surely would appreciate any help you can give me in my search.

  10. Message to Mary

    First this is an interesting site/blog as I am a Courbet and art fan and I just spent a week in Paris!

    Mary, maybe you can get this poster at the New York Metropolitain Museum of Fine Arts as this Courbet exhibit traveled there. I visited this exhibit in New York in April 2008 and bought the poster. Maybe you can get it on-line. Good luck.

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