Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

The Sea

Artist:
Gustave Courbet (French, Ornans 1819–1877 La Tour-de-Peilz)
Date:
1865 or later
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Dikran G. Kelekian Gift, 1922
Accession Number:
22.27.1
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 812
During successive sojourns at Trouville in the mid-1860s, Courbet fully developed the pictorial vocabulary that he used for his distinctive minimalist views of the sea and sky under different conditions of light and weather. This "sea landscape" (paysage de mer), as he called such works, may have been painted along the Normandy coast between 1865 and 1867, or it may be a later studio repetition.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): G.Courbet.
[Durand-Ruel, Paris and New York; ?stock no. 1231]; Dikran Khan Kélékian, Paris and New York (until 1922; his sale, American Art Association, New York, January 30–31, 1922, no. 53, as "La mer (The Sea)," sold for $2,700 to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of the Works of Gustave Courbet," April 7–May 18, 1919, no. 35 (as "Marine," lent by D. Kelekian).

Paris. Palais des Beaux-Arts. "Exposition Gustave Courbet," May–June 1929, no cat. number (p. 14, pl. 12, as "La Mer").

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscape Paintings," May 14–September 30, 1934, no. 43 (as "The Sea").

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Six Centuries of Landscape," March 7–April 13, 1952, no. 47.

Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh. "Franse meesters uit het Metropolitan Museum of Art: Realisten en Impressionisten," March 15–May 31, 1987, no. 9.

Paris. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais. "Gustave Courbet," October 13, 2007–January 28, 2008, no. 129.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Gustave Courbet," February 27–May 18, 2008, no. 129.

Montpellier. Musée Fabre. "Gustave Courbet," June 14–September 28, 2008, no. 129.

Julius Meier-Graefe. Corot und Courbet. 2nd ed. Munich, 1912, ill. opp. p. 208, calls it "Marine" and dates it 1865–76.

Julius Meier-Graefe. Courbet. Munich, 1921, pl. 107, calls it "Marine" and dates it 1867.

Charles Léger. Courbet. Paris, 1929, pl. 47, calls it "Marine, paysage de mer" and dates it 1867.

Camille Gronkowski. "L'exposition Courbet." Le Figaro artistique (May 2, 1929), p. 481, ill., notes its loan to Exh. Paris 1929.

Pierre Courthion. Courbet. Paris, 1931, pl. 74, calls it "Marine" and dates it 1867.

Bryson Burroughs. "Changes in the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 27 (January 1932), p. 19.

Gaston Delestre. Letter to Margaretta Salinger. March 10, 1962, finds the signature doubtful.

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. 123–24, ill., suggest it was painted at Trouville in 1865 or 1866.

Robert Fernier. La vie et l'oeuvre de Gustave Courbet. Vol. 2, Peintures, 1866–1877. Lausanne, 1978, p. 184, no. 917, ill. p. 185, calls it "Marine (Mer orageuse)"; dates it 1873.

Pierre Courthion. L'opera completa di Courbet. Milan, 1985, p. 124, no. 914, ill., dates it 1873.

Michel Hilaire in Gustave Courbet. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2008, p. 286, no. 129 [erroneously illustrates MMA 29.160.35; French ed., Paris, 2007].



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