Gustave Courbet was the main representative of the realism in France and thus influenced the development of the following art styles.
Courbet was born in France on June 10, 1819 and grew up in a middle-class family. Following his parents’ wish, he studied law in 1837. He quickly recognized his love for drawing and began to take drawing lessons a year later. In 1840, he left his hometown Besançon and went to Paris. There, he continued to take classes and copied works of art from Spanish and Dutch painters from the museums.
In the Paris Salon, he submitted twenty of his works from 1841 to 1847, but only three were accepted: one of them was his self-portrait with black dog . His family supported him during this period.
Not far from his studio, Gustave Courbet met with other artists and intellectuals he had known since his childhood. In this group, he developed the new art direction of realism. In 1848, Courbet submitted again some of his works to the Paris Salon. This time, he was crowned with success. The jury enthusiastically accepted 10 of his paintings, and in 1849 he received a gold medal for his work After the meal in Ornans . His popularity grew more and more.
In his paintings, different visual elements were combined. Courbet used both spatula and brush, producing a uniform and only slightly pasty surface. Other artists took over this type of painting in a different form.
This painter also exhibited his works in Belgium, England and Germany, and took part in exhibitions in Switzerland during his last years of life. He died on December 31, 1877, at the age of 58, from a heart disease.