Modern Art: Being a Contribution to a New System of Aesthetics - Vol. 1

By Julius Meier-Graefe; Florence Simmonds et al. | Go to book overview

GUSTAVE COURBET

THE threads that started from Millet have lured us further afield than the course of our history allows, and we have been drawn into a consideration of phenomena which, even if they owe most of all to Millet, would be inconceivable without a contribution from a phase of art-history hitherto neglected yet of the highest importance. Van Gogh appears as a Primitive after the manner of Millet, and his enthusiasm was reserved for Delacroix and Daumier. But we know that he served his apprenticeship to the Impressionists. Meunier seems a true adherent of the painter of the Angelus. But at the same time he was strongly influenced by the master who gave a new impulse to the art of his native Belgium: Courbet. We have willingly given precedence to Millet, for we are no longer in danger of passing fox ungrateful recipients of his gifts. It is, therefore, necessary to recognise now, that his influence gave no stimulus and could give none, to the most important school of the nineteenth century. The conquering spirit of our modern painting derives from Courbet.

Not the art alone, but the whole being of this artist was conquest. There is nothing timid, childlike or good-natured about Courbet. He was the individualist with strong elbows. Corot accepted long obscurity as natural, Delacroix smiled disdainfully at it, Millet sighed over it. They lived with their art, they were the children of their Muse, and bad business men. Courbet defended himself tooth and nail. He made a way for himself with unexampled ruthlessness. He was the first "manager" of modern art. Ms pupil Wliistler adopted his methods, but made them subtler and more modish.

Courbet divided his time into two halves, painting in one, and theorising in the other, and as a fact, he did the same thing in both, for his pictures were the documents of his teaching. He did not confine himself to art, but extended his system to all attainable fields, was a politician, and the first artist-cosmopolitan. His subtlety was his brutal boorishness. Nothing could have been better adapted for a new departure. In Paris this unpolished fanatic was like a bear in a nest of bees. He had to pay for his escapades. I think it was less triumphant detestation of his politics after the downfall of the Commune, than fury against his personal art that caused the disastrous prosecution over the Vendôme column, the last nail in the master's coffin.

Never was there a less Parisian painter. Turn and twist him as we will, we shall find all sorts of things in him, save only the typical French qualities. Nothing classic, nothing lyrical, nothing decorative after the manner of the great eighteenth-century landscape painters; no trace of the playful charm of the Watteau school, nor of Delacroix' dramatic quality. Camille Lemonnier has drawn him as the antithesis of this latter in a brilliant essay.*

He describes Delacroix' enthusiasm, steeped in literature, impersonal in spite

____________________
*
G. Courbet et son Œuvre, Paris, Lemerre, 1878.

-219-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Modern Art: Being a Contribution to a New System of Aesthetics - Vol. 1
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 332

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.