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Artist: Courbet, Gustave 6 of 7 Previous Previous | Next Next

Stream of the Puits-Noir at Ornans, c. 1867-1868

Gustave Courbet

French, 1819-1877
Oil on canvas
39-3/8 x 59-1/4 in. (100 x 150.5 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
M.1976.13.P
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Courbet likely worked on this canvas during a fall 1868 visit to his birthplace at Ornans in the far eastern reaches of France. The painting depicts a stretch of the river Brème little more than two miles from Ornans itself and bears a scratched-out, over-painted date of “68” in the lower left-hand corner. The picture is thickly painted, worked up with both brush (for the bare, wispy tree branches) and palette knife (for the lichen-crusted limestone cliffs and the frothy water). The painting’s rough, almost mineral surface gives literal form to its rocky subject. Courbet treated the same gorge, transformed by spring, in a painting today at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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Artist: Courbet, Gustave 6 of 7 Previous Previous | Next Next