Friday, December 12, 2008
The Source of the Loue, ca. 1864
Gustave Courbet (French, 1819 - 1877)
Oil on canvas, 42 _ x 54 1/8"
Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery
One of my favorite paintings during my annual trips to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery over the years. I never knew who painted it until a few years ago. It was always very different from the art I was attracted to, Realism only recently becoming an interest, yet there was always something about this particular painting. The subject of a cave entrance might have much to do with it, peering into the darkness, curious as to what lay beyond (Yay for caving!). Courbet painted this scene a number of times, though this is supposed to be the only one without any figures (http://www.albrightknox.org/ArtStart/Courbet_t.html) which I am inclined to prefer.
I learned more about Courbet in graduate school but still didn't become particularly interested (pretty wrong considering one of my professors is a Courbet scholar) until seeing a retrospective of his work at the Met last spring.