Henri Rochefort
Gustave Courbet (French, 1819-1877)
Not on View

Gustave Courbet painted this portrait of his friend, and radical Republican, Henri Rochefort while he was in exile in Switzerland. Rochefort was a journalist, editor and political rabblerouser. His adamant public support of the failed Commune in Paris ultimately landed him in a French penal colony in New Caledonia, an island in the south Pacific. In a daring nighttime escape, Rochefort made his way back to the continent after traveling through Australia, the United States and England. Although the portrait is rather somber, Courbet nevertheless captures the distinctive jaw, goatee and unruly hair that so often served as fodder for the caricaturists of the time.


  • Artist Name: Gustave Courbet (French, 1819-1877)
  • Title: Henri Rochefort
  • Date: 1874
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 25-1/2 x 21-1/4 in. (64.8 x 54 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1972.18.1.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Paul Pia.
Brenet, in 1893.
Gates, in 1900.
[Durand-Ruel, Paris; sold 20 January 1906 to];
Wilhelm Weigand, purchased 4 November 1913 for 15,000 frs. through;
Dieter Fritsch for;
Otto Gerstenberg (1848-1935), Berlin, by inheritance to his daughter;
Margarete Scharf, by descent in;
Gerstenberg family [according to Peter Nathan], sold by 1962 to;
[Drs. Fritz and Peter Nathan, Zurich, sold 7 March 1964 to];
[Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York; stock no. 6092-2160, sold 31 May 1972 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

Three Centuries of French Art: Selections from The Norton Simon, Inc. Museum of Art and The Norton Simon Foundation_1

  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1973-05-03 to 1976-06-15

Portraits, Ecrivains et Journalistes, 1793-1893

  • Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 1893-06 to

[on loan]

  • Phoenix, Phoenix Art Museum, 1972-06-05 to 1973-02-09

Gustave Courbet

  • Kunstmuseum Bern, 1962-09-22 to 1962-11-18

Six Centuries of Portraiture from the Permanent Collection

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1989-11-02 to 1990-12-16

Gaze: Portraiture After Ingres

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2009-10-30 to 2010-04-05
  • Léger, Charles, Courbet, pp. 195, 202
  • Naef, Hans, Courbet, pl. 51
  • Riat, Georges, Gustave Courbet, Peintre, p. 283
  • Meier-Graefe, Julius, Courbet, pl. 114
  • Meier-Graefe, Julius, Corot und Courbet, 1912, p. 119
  • Gustave Courbet, 1935, under no. 130
  • Léger, Charles, Courbet et sons temps (Lettres et Documents inédits), 1948, p. 165
  • Courthion, Pierre, Courbet Raconte par Lui-Même et par ses Amis, 1948, p. 303
  • Fernier, Robert, La Vie et l'Oeuvre de Gustave Courbet: Catalogue Raisonné, Peintures 1866-1877, 1978, no. 1022 p. 225
  • Morse, John D., Old Master Paintings in North America, 1979, p. 69
  • Brettell, Richard R. and Stephen F. Eisenman, Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum, volume 1, 2006,
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 801 p. 340

Additional Artwork by Artist

Apples, Pears, and Primroses on a Table Gustave Courbet 1871-1872
Cliff at Étretat, the Porte d' Aval Gustave Courbet 1869
Marine Gustave Courbet c. 1865 -1866

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