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Isolated Rock (Le Rocher isolé)

Gustave Courbet

European Art

By the 1860s, Gustave Courbet was a well-known champion of Realist painting—an approach that found its subject matter in the daily lives and hardships of France’s working class. This seascape highlights another important aspect of Courbet’s Realist practice. Rather than a traditional brush, he used a palette knife to apply the paint in broad, rough patches. This technique evokes the atmosphere of the wind-blown, moving clouds and the coarse texture of the rock, which, in its centrality and isolation, seems to take on a melancholy, human quality.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES ca. 1862
    DIMENSIONS 25 1/2 x 32 in. (64.8 x 81.3 cm) frame: 33 1/8 x 39 5/8 x 2 3/4 in. (84.1 x 100.6 x 7 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed lower left: "G. Courbet."
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Horace O. Havemeyer
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Gustave Courbet (French, 1819-1877). Isolated Rock (Le Rocher isolé), ca. 1862. Oil on canvas, 25 1/2 x 32 in. (64.8 x 81.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Horace O. Havemeyer, 41.1258 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 41.1258_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 41.1258_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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