The Fishing Boat

Gustave Courbet French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 812

Courbet painted this work during an intensely productive visit to Trouville with James McNeill Whistler from September until November 1865; in a letter to his father, the artist boasted that he had executed "thirty-five paintings" in a very short time, which "stunned everybody." In his choice of subject, Courbet followed in the wake of Eugène Isabey, Johan Barthold Jongkind, and Eugène Boudin; but unlike many of the canvases executed at the time, this fishing boat, rigged and filled with equipment, is the focus of the composition rather than a subordinate element. In 1899, this became the first work by Courbet to enter the Museum’s collection.

The Fishing Boat, Gustave Courbet (French, Ornans 1819–1877 La Tour-de-Peilz), Oil on canvas

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