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Gustave Courbet

Ornans 1819 - La Tour-de-Peilz 1877

Gustave Courbet studied at the Academy of Besançon and then at the Académie Suisse in Paris. Courbet made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1844. Four years later his work was responsible for considerable commotion at the Salon, because he painted everyday occurrences in the French countryside on the large format reserved for academic historical works. Courbet was a fierce opponent of the regime of Napoleon III. During the Commune of 1871, he was arrested for his involvement in the demolition of the Colonne de Vendôme, which had been erected by Napoleon I. In 1873 he was forced to pay towards the re-erection of the Colonne and many of his paintings were seized.

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