Peasant Girl with a Scarf
c. 1849
Gustave Courbet (French, 1819-1877)
Not on View

Courbet was the father of the Realist movement in painting. Eschewing the angels and make-believe of academic history painting in favor of “objects that the artist can see and touch,” Courbet devoted much of his early career to the peasants of his native Franche-Comté, a region rocked in the mid-nineteenth-century by the mechanization and modernization of farming. Here a young girl, flushed with sun (or perhaps desire), appears in uncomfortable close-up, gazing into the distance, where a man retreats into the shadows. The picture’s peasant subject and the willfully awkward relationship between figure and landscape would have discomfited many contemporary Parisian viewers, who regarded such choices as not only aesthetically radical but politically radical as well. “Realism,” as Courbet insisted, “is essentially democratic.”

Details

  • Artist Name: Gustave Courbet (French, 1819-1877)
  • Title: Peasant Girl with a Scarf
  • Date: c. 1849
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 23-5/8 x 28-3/4 in. (60 x 73 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1989.2.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

The artist, to;
M. Weill;
D’Ol*** (sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 9 December 1876, lot 20, as Tête de femme);
[Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris];
A. H. Stirlin, Zurich, by 1935, by inheritance to;
H. R. Stirlin, Zurich and St.-Prex, Switzerland, still in 1955, sold to;
[Drs. Fritz and Peter Nathan, Zurich];
[Acquavella Galleries, New York, sold 1966 to];
John T. Dorrance, Jr., Gladwyne, Pennsylvania (sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 18 October 1989, lot 2, color ill., as Paysanne au madras), to;
[Acquavella Galleries, New York, sold 7 December 1989, as Peasant Girl with a Scarf, to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

Exposition Gustave Courbet

  • La Tour de Peliz, Musee Jenisch, 1950-07-08 to 1950-10-03
Léger, Charles, Courbet, pl. 22
Gazette des Beaux-Arts, no. 32
Fernier, Robert, La vie et l'oeuvre de Gustave Courbet: Catalogue raisonné, no. 210 p. 40, 131
Brettell, Richard R. and Stephen F. Eisenman, Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum, volume 1,
Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, cat. 1732 p. 440
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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
Henri Rochefort Gustave Courbet 1874

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