Gustave
Courbet Artist Overview and Analysis”. 2017. TheArtStory.org Content
compiled and written by Stephen Knudsen Edited and published by The Art Story
Contributors Accessed 04 Dec 2017

Morrow, John
(2011). “Romanticism and political thought in the early nineteenth
century” (PDF). In Stedman Jones, Gareth; Claeys, Gregory. The Cambridge
History of Nineteenth-Century Political Thought. The Cambridge History of
Political Thought. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. pp.
39–76. Retrieved 10 September 2017.

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McCoy,
Claire Black, Dr. “Romanticism in France.” Khan Academy. Accessed
November 06, 2017.

“Art
and Enlightenment.” Europeana Exhibitions. Accessed November 05, 2017.

“Age of
Enlightenment.” New World Encyclopedia, .3 Nov 2016, 16:03 UTC. 5 Nov 2017

Suzanne
Desan et al. Eds. The French Revolution in Global Perspective (2013), pp. 3, 8,
10

Bell, David
Avrom (2007). The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the birth of warfare
as we know it. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 51. ISBN 0-618-34965-0.

A. Aulard in
Arthur Tilley, ed. (1922). Modern France. A Companion to French Studies.
Cambridge UP. p. 115.

Dmitry
Shlapentokh, The French Revolution and the Russian Anti-Democratic Tradition
(Edison, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1997), pp. 220–28

Matusitz,
Jonathan Symbolism in Terrorism: Motivation, Communication, and Behavior, p. 19

Palmer, R.R.
& Colton, Joel A History of the Modern World pp. 393–97

Knudsen,
Stephen. “Gustave Courbet Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works.” The
Art Story. Accessed November 05, 2017.

Foucault,
Michel. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason.
Vintage Books, 1988. Pg. 45

Robert A.
Ferguson, The American Enlightenment, 1750–1820 (1994). Pg.123-5

Sootin,
Harry. “Isaac Newton.” New York, Messner (1955) pg. 34

Bibliography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In conclusion, even though Gustave Courbet and others like
him did play an incredibly influential role in helping direct French art
society in the direction of realism and reason. The real culprits for this
gradual change were the flow of events in French society. These events created
opportunistic openings for people to become self-reliant thinkers, that would
continue onto become a respected Democracy. French Romanticism did not get
murdered either, it got suppress by the common folk, until open patriotism
could become a cause for celebration again. Therefore, arguably, Gustave
Courbet is not the Murderer of French Romanticism that the textbooks of
contemporary art name him as, and he cannot be the Father of Reason if its
inception had very little to do with him alone. Gustave Courbet, the
influential realist painter, was just that, an influential realist painter.

The chaos of war, pestilence, famine, and depravity were the
drivers of that choreography. Therefore, undoubtedly the death of French
Romanticism did not happen because of Gustave Courbet or anyone man. Tt occurred
through clear and obvious necessity, not the activities of a few people that
decided to think for themselves.

Napoleon’s relentless campaigns led the way to his people and
government committing mutiny and by the Act of abdication of Napoleon, the
Allied powers forced him into exile. The Allies stated that Emperor Napoleon
was the sole obstacle to the restoration of peace in Europe. Realism was
choreographed into existence by the hope of a better future for the lives
within French society.

When you place all these achievements together and look at
other artists of the time, Courbet does look like he should be named the Father
of Realism. But when taking a broader more historical look at transition and
the events that transpired at the time. The transition from the brainwashing of
the French Academy’s Romanticism to the rebellion’s Realism was inevitable. The
Napoleonic Wars made certain the rebellious ideas of realism would gain
momentum with its tireless onslaught of death and destruction.21

Gustave Courbet’s most notable work was Burial at Ornans
(1849). This painting is famous for its overall application of all the ethics
and values Courbet insisted upon, and on top of that it is sized at 22 feet
long. He went on to create hundreds of works and many more of those works were
considered extremely influential pieces. In the end however, do Courbet’s
accomplishment’s merit him the titles of ‘Father of Realism’ and ‘Murderer of
French Romanticism?’

Content compiled and written by Stephen Knudsen Edited and
published by The Art Story Contributors Accessed 04 Dec 2017

            20. Gustave
Courbet Artist Overview and Analysis”. 2017. TheArtStory.org

____________________

 

Gustave Courbet’s democratic eye revolutionized Western Art.
His new form of Realism paved the way for other Modern movements, such as
Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Manet, Monet, Renoir, and others had
direct contact with Courbet and were profoundly affected by the man and his
paintings. Courbet’s visceral paint application also opened a path for figure
and landscape painters of the twentieth century such as Willem de Kooning,
Fairfield Porter, Lucian Freud, the Bay Area Figurative Painters, and others.

At the age of 21, Courbet moved to Paris. He avoiding study
in the studios of any of the period’s many academic celebrities, nor did he
enroll in the top tier academic system for the arts in Paris, the Ecole des
Beaux-Arts. Instead he took a few lessons from lesser-known teachers, but
mostly taught himself by copying paintings by Caravaggio, Rubens and others in
the Louvre. On a visit to Holland he was also able to copy the paintings of
Rembrandt and Velazquez. Courbet made his own rigorous schedule and jumped
headlong into painting. He often replicated a classical painting again and
again to uncover its secrets. He rounded out his independent study by painting
from nature and paid models. When visiting home at Ornans, he painted friends
and family.20

19. Morrow, John (2011). “Romanticism and political
thought in the early nineteenth century” (PDF). In Stedman Jones, Gareth;
Claeys, Gregory. The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Political Thought.
The Cambridge History of Political Thought. Cambridge, United Kingdom:
Cambridge University Press. pp. 39–76. Retrieved 10 September 2017.

__________________

More recently, however, historians have also seen his work as
an important prelude to other artists of early modernism such as Édouard Manet
and Claude Monet. In the
process of clearing away the rhetoric of Acadmey painting, Courbet often
settled on compositions that seemed collaged and crude to prevailing
sensibilities. At times he also abandoned careful modeling in favor of applying
paint thickly in broken flecks and slabs. Such stylistic innovations made him
greatly admired by later modernists that promoted liberated compositions and
amplified surface texture.

trying to impose. Rebellious works in art started showing in
the works of artists that came to call themselves realists. One such realist,
Gustave Courbet, was considered important to the emergence of Realism in the
mid-nineteenth century. Rejecting the classical and theatrical styles of the
French Academy, his art insisted on the physical reality of the objects he
observed – even if that reality was plain and blemished. A committed
Republican, he also saw his Realism to champion the peasants and country folk
from his home town. He has long been famous for his response to the political
upheavals which gripped France in his lifetime, and he would die in exile in
Switzerland when he was found responsible for the cost of rebuilding of Paris’
Vendome Column.

18. Ibid.

17. McCoy, Claire Black, Dr. “Romanticism
in France.” Khan Academy. Accessed November 06, 2017.

______________

            Romanticism being the artistic,
literary, musical and intellectual movement that it was primarily characterized
by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all
the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was
partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and
political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization
of nature, all components of modernity. It was embodied most strongly in the
visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography,
education, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on
politics, with romantic thinkers influencing liberalism, radicalism, conservatism
and nationalism. However, the sufferings of the families and individuals began
to run their course as more and more people began tuning into the corruption of
their government and the brainwashing they were

            One might trace the emergence of this
new Romantic art to the painting of Jacques-Louis David who expressed passion
and a very personal connection to his subject in Neoclassical paintings like
Oath of the Horatii and Death of Marat. If David’s work reveals the Romantic
impulse in French art early on, French Romanticism was more thoroughly
developed later in the work of painters and sculptors such as Theodore Gericault,
Eugene Delacroix and Francois Rude.18

Romanticism in the middle of the
nineteenth century, he found it difficult to concretely define. Writing in his
Salon of 1846, he affirmed that “romanticism lies neither in the subjects that
an artist chooses nor in his exact copying of truth, but in the way he
feels…. Romanticism and modern art are one and the same thing, in other
words: intimacy, spirituality, color, yearning for the infinite, expressed by all
the means the arts possess.'”17

            16. “Art and
Enlightenment.” Europeana Exhibitions. Accessed November 05, 2017.

            15. Ibid.

_________________

While the Academy’s Romanticism’s philosophies tried to bring
out the more emotional side while adhering to it strict guidelines. ‘Even when
Charles Baudelaire wrote about French

The Enlightenment profoundly influenced the world of art
giving the medium a specific mainstream culture and driving it, for the first
time, into an analytically academia situated format. The philosophies of this
movement were centered on rationalism, tolerance and liberty.16

The age of Enlightenment is considered to have ended with the
French Revolution, which had a violent aspect that discredited it in the eyes
of many. Also, Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), “who referred to Sapere aude! (Dare
to know!) as the motto of the Enlightenment, ended up criticizing the
Enlightenment confidence on the power of reason. Romanticism, with its emphasis
upon imagination, spontaneity, and passion, emerged also as a reaction against
the dry intellectualism of rationalists.”15

death to millions in religious wars. Also, the wide
availability of knowledge was made possible through the production of
encyclopedias, serving the Enlightenment cause of educating the human race.

            14. “Age of
Enlightenment.” New World Encyclopedia, .3 Nov 2016, 16:03 UTC. 5 Nov 2017

            13. Suzanne Desan et al. Eds. The French
Revolution in Global Perspective (2013), pp. 3, 8, 10

            12. Bell, David Avrom (2007). The
First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the birth of warfare as we know it. New
York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 51. ISBN 0-618-34965-0.

_______________________

The Enlightenment advocated reason as a means to establishing
an authoritative system of aesthetics, ethics, government, and even religion,
which would allow human beings to obtain objective truth about the whole of
reality. Emboldened by the revolution in physics commenced by Newtonian kinematics,
Enlightenment thinkers argued that reason could free humankind from
superstition and religious authoritarianism that had brought suffering and

The Age of Enlightenment, sometimes called the Age of Reason,
refers to the time of the guiding intellectual movement, called The
Enlightenment. It covers about a century and a half in Europe, beginning with
the publication of Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum (1620) and ending with
Immanuel Kant’s  ‘Critique of Pure Reason’
(1781). From the perspective of socio-political phenomena, the period is
considered to have begun with the close of the Thirty Years’ War (1648) and
ended with the French Revolution (1789).14

The Revolution also witnessed the birth of total war by
organizing the resources of France and the lives of its citizens towards the
objective of military conquest.12 Some of its central documents,
like the Declaration of the Rights of Man, expanded the arena of human rights
to include women and slaves, leading to movements for abolitionism and
universal suffrage in the next century.13

11. A. Aulard in Arthur Tilley, ed. (1922).
Modern France. A Companion to French Studies. Cambridge UP. p. 115.

10.  Dmitry Shlapentokh, The French Revolution and
the Russian Anti-Democratic Tradition (Edison, NJ: Transaction Publishers,
1997), pp. 220–28

9. Ibid., 361.

____________________

 

Globally, the Revolution accelerated the rise of republics
and democracies. It became the focal point for the development of all modern
political ideologies, leading to the spread of liberalism, radicalism,
nationalism, socialism, feminism, and secularism, among many others.

The values and institutions of the Revolution dominate French
politics to this day. The Revolution resulted in the suppression of the feudal
system, the emancipation of the individual, the greater division of landed
property, the abolition of the privileges of noble birth and the nominal
establishment of equality. The French Revolution differed from other
revolutions in being not merely national, for it aimed at benefiting all
humanity.11

Napoleon, who became the hero of the Revolution, through his military
campaigns, went on to create the Consulate and after that, the First Empire. The
modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. Almost all
future revolutionary movements looked back to the Revolution as their
predecessor.9 Its central phrases and cultural symbols. Such as La
Marseilaise and Liberte, Fraternite, egalite, ou la mort, became the clarion
call for other major upheavals in modern history, including the Russian
Revolution over a century later.10

8. Palmer, R.R.
& Colton, Joel A History of the Modern World pp. 393–97

7. Matusitz, Jonathan Symbolism in Terrorism: Motivation,
Communication, and Behavior, p. 19

6. Palmer, R.R. & Colton, Joel A History of the Modern
World pp. 393–97

_____________________

The Directory was an extremely unorganized group
characterized by its blunders as a ruling party, some of which include; suspended
elections, debt repudiations, financial instability, persecutions against the
Catholic clergy, and significant military conquests abroad.8 Overwhelmed
by charges of corruption, the directory collapsed in a coup led by Napoleon
Bonaparte in 1799.

With the outbreak of rebellion, and eventual execution of
Louis XV! Of France in January 1793, the Committee of Public Safety imposed a dictatorship,
which was later named “The Reign of Terror.” There were estimates ranging from
16,000 to 40,000 civilians executed by revolutionary tribunals.7 The
committee focused on the abolishment of slavery, de-Christianizing society, and
the securing borders. After the Thermidorian reaction, a new executive council
known as the directory assumed control of the French state in 1795.

caused massive taxes upon all social and political classes of
the time.6 One could only imagine the hatred towards the government people
of that time must have felt, through the increased pains of starvation.
However, the world at the time could not have expected the turmoil that gave
rise to the upheaval of the French revolution.

4. Knudsen, Stephen. “Gustave Courbet Biography, Art,
and Analysis of Works.” The Art Story. Accessed November 05, 2017.

____________________

The 17th-18th centuries within the
France, and its territories, was a time where chaos was lurking around every
corner, and the true hearts of patriots were committed to, pursuing and
dreaming of a more ideal France. Before the French Revolution, which lasted
from 1789 to 1799, Tensions within the nation were high due to the poor budget
management and debt that,

 The fact remains that he
did, in fact, play a role in the redevelopment of rational thought, reason and
realism. But did Gustave Courbet really play such a pivotal role in the killing
off of French Romanticism? Did he play a big enough role to be called the
Father of Reason? Through an examination of Courbet’s role prior, and following
the death of Romanticism, a claim will be made on how his co-influence only
helped excite into fruition, the Academically, suppressed, hearts of rebellion,
rather than beginning and fathering the whole movement amongst himself and
fellow realists.4

However the remnants of thought, from the time of Reason, did
not fully dissolve for artists, such as Gustave Courbet, who used contemporary
concepts to portray realism. He did this in order to convey the values of the
world around him, not the glamour, but raw emotion and mood of the scenes he
was trying to depict. Although, he did seem to have more of a taste for the
morbid and dark side of the life, his art did hold an optimistic almost
humoristic quality.

Instead it brought criticism upon the age of Reason stating
that “art shouldn’t imitate reality, but be a realm of fantasy.”

3.     
Foucault,
Michel. Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason.
Vintage Books, 1988. Pg. 45

2.     
Robert
A. Ferguson, The American Enlightenment, 1750–1820 (1994). Pg.123-5

1.     
Sootin,
Harry. “Isaac Newton.” New York, Messner (1955) pg. 34

_____________________

 

Amidst the seemingly endlessly looping destruction and faulty
reconstruction of rebellious France, the philosophies of the Enlightenment became
confused and muzzled. It impacted the world of art by sending it into a very susceptible
state that, as France came under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte, art fell easy
prey to the newly formed Academy of Art in Paris that promoted the Romanticism
movement. This movement was meant to bring the nation together restoring peace
and uniting its citizens in their patriotism and love for the epics.3

Enlightenment and reason, at the turning of the 17th
century, were key factors in creating the world in all aspects of the way it
exists today. Its rationality based philosophy produced questions, and
criticisms towards the current methodologies and ideologies, that broke into the
chaos that eventually spread like wildfire on a global scale. The key
philosophers that influenced the enlightenment with their works include, but
not limited to, Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes, John Locke and Baruch Spinoza.
1 The Declaration of Independence and the eventual writing of the Constitution
of the United States of America, 1776-1787, both can be traced back to having
been influenced by the works of those philosophers.2 The same can be
said for the likeminded civilians of French society of the time that were
suffering under the rule of their monarch King Louis XVI.

 

 

 

                                                        
November 5, 2017

Art F17: Contemporary Art History

Ben C. Rhodes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Murderer
of French Romanticism and Father of Reason