Gustave Courbet (French, Ornans 1819–1877 La Tour-de-Peilz)
Oil on canvas
29 1/2 x 24 in. (74.9 x 61 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
Not on view
In their day, the American collectors Louisine (1855–1929) and H. O. Havemeyer (1847–1907) amassed one of the largest and most representative private collections of Courbet's works. They acquired this painting, their first nude by Courbet, in early 1892, when their Tiffany-designed New York residence was nearing completion. The frame is attributed to Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933).
Mazaroz-Ribalier, Paris (until 1890; their sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 13–14, 1890, no. 2, as "Le Printemps"); Lambert, Paris (1890; sold on June 7 for Fr 1,800 to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1890–91; stock no. 475, as "Femme nue, étude"; sold on July 28, 1891 for Fr 3,000 to Lerolle]; Lerolle (1891; sold back to Durand-Ruel, Paris on September 30 for Fr 4,000); [Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1891–92; stock no. 1841, as "Femme nue"; sold on March 9, 1892 for Fr 4,500 to Durand-Ruel]; [Durand-Ruel, New York, 1892, stock no. 916, as "Torse de femme"; sold on October 19 for $1,800 to Havemeyer]; Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (1892–his d.1907); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (1907–d. 1929; cat., 1931, pp. 80–81, ill., as "Nude—La Branche de cerisier")
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of the Works of Gustave Courbet," April 7–May 18, 1919, no. 15 (as "Nude Woman—The Cherry Branch [La branche de cérisier(sic)]," lent anonymously).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 10–November 2, 1930, no. 36 (as "Torso of Woman") [2nd ed., 1958, no. 92].
Winnipeg Art Gallery. "French Pre-Impressionist Painters of the Nineteenth Century," April 10–May 9, 1954, no. 50 (as "Torso of a Woman").
College Park. University of Maryland Art Gallery. "Hommage à Baudelaire," March 6–31, 1968, unnumbered cat. (p. 53).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A137.
Loan Exhibition of the Works of Gustave Courbet. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1919, p. 7, no. 15, notes that it was painted in Saintes about 1863; erroneously states that it was shown at the Courbet exhibition in Paris, 1867.
Arsène Alexandre. "La Collection Havemeyer: Courbet et Corot." La Renaissance 12 (June 1929), pp. 278–79, ill. p. 272, calls it "Femme nue"; identifies the flowers as apple blossoms.
H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, pp. 80–81, ill., calls it "Nude-La branche de cerisier".
Charles Léger. Courbet et son temps (Lettres et documents inédits). Paris, 1948, p. 196, calls it "Femme nue tenant une branche de cerisier".
Pierre Mac Orlan. Courbet. [Paris], 1951, pl. 29, calls it "Torse de femme (La branche de cerisier)" and dates it 1862.
Aline B. Saarinen. The Proud Possessors: The Lives, Times and Tastes of Some Adventurous American Art Collectors. New York, 1958, p. 160.
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. New York, 1961, pp. 190–93, 196, calls it "La branche de cerisier anglais"; mistakenly states that she first saw this picture with Mary Cassatt at a Courbet exhibition at the Théâtre de la Gaité, Paris in 1881 [see Refs. Havemeyer 1993 and Tinterow 1993]; notes that it was the second Courbet that she acquired [it was the fourth; see Ref. Havemeyer 1993] and recalls her husband's reluctance at the purchase.
Gaston Delestre. Letter to Margaretta Salinger. March 10, 1962, sees no resemblance between this model and that of "Paysanne au madras" (F210; private collection, U. S. A.) [see Ref. Sterling and Salinger 1966].
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, pp. 120–21, ill., suggest a resemblance between the face of this model and that of "Paysanne au madras" (F210; now private collection, U. S. A.); compare this picture to "Femme nue couchée" (1862; F335; former collection Baron F. de Hatvany, Budapest).
Georges Boudaille. Gustave Courbet: Painter in Protest. Greenwich, Conn., 1969, p. 93, identifies the same model in "Young Girl with a Kid" (F268, private collection, Paris; F271, current location unknown).
Jack Lindsay. Gustave Courbet: His Life and Art. New York, 1973, p. 204, dates it about 1862.
Roger Bonniot. Gustave Courbet en Saintonge, 1862–1863. Paris, 1973, pp. 88–89, states that it was painted in Saintonge in 1863 and identifies the flowers as cherry blossoms.
Robert Fernier. La vie et l'oeuvre de Gustave Courbet. Vol. 1, Peintures, 1819–1865. Lausanne, 1977, p. 194, no. 336, ill. p. 195, calls it "Femme nue à la branche de fleurs"; dates it 1863.
Pierre Courthion. L'opera completa di Courbet. Milan, 1985, p. 91, no. 326, ill.
Frances Weitzenhoffer. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York, 1986, pp. 79–80, 112, 256, pl. 33, states that Mrs. Havemeyer had some difficulty persuading her husband to buy this work (their first nude) in 1892, but that it later became one of his favorite pictures in their collection.
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein. 3rd ed. [1st ed. 1930, repr. 1961]. New York, 1993, pp. 190–93, 196, 287, 329 nn. 265–66, p. 330 n. 279, pp. 343–44 n. 446.
Susan Alyson Stein inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 214, fig. 106 (installation photograph of Exh. New York 1930), pl. 194, dates it 1863.
Gary Tinterow inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 22–23, states that Mrs. Havemeyer was mistaken in thinking that she had seen this work at an exhibition at the Théâtre de la Gaîté in Paris in 1881 [see Ref. Havemeyer 1961].
Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen. Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 187, 189, suggests that Tiffany may have designed the frame on this work for the Havemeyers.
Gretchen Wold inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 315, no. A137, ill. p. 314, dates it 1863.