From 1873 until his death in 1877, Courbet lived in self-imposed exile in Switzerland. Separated from the people and places that inspired many of his canvases, and pressed to produce salable works, he made repetitions and variations of earlier compositions, often with the help of studio assistants. This landscape evokes the secluded streams, lush foliage, and craggy bluffs of the artist’s native Franche-Comté region in eastern France, particularly his views of the Puits-Noir (Black Well). The subject of his first success as a landscape painter, in 1855, it would recur in his work for more than a decade.
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Title:The Hidden Brook
Artist:Gustave Courbet (French, Ornans 1819–1877 La Tour-de-Peilz)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:23 3/8 x 29 3/4 in. (59.4 x 75.6 cm)
Credit Line:From the Collection of James Stillman, Gift of Dr. Ernest G. Stillman, 1922
Inscription: Signed (lower right): G. Courbet
James Stillman, Paris and New York (until d. 1918); his son, Ernest Goodrich Stillman, New York (until 1922)
Venice. Biennale. "IX Biennale di Venezia: Mostra individuale di Gustave Courbet," April 22–October 31, 1910, no. 9 (as "Paesaggio—raggio di sole," possibly this picture).
Newark Museum. "19th-Century French and American Paintings from the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 9–May 15, 1946, no. 6 (as "Landscape").
New York. American Federation of Arts. "A Landscape View of 19th Century France (circulating exhibition)," September 1, 1954–1957, no catalogue?
Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "Paintings of the Barbizon School," January 6–29, 1962, no. 9 (as "Landscape").
McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. "Courbet: Mapping Realism; Paintings from the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and American Collections," September 1–December 8, 2013, unnumbered cat. (colorpl. 38).
B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "An Anonymous Gift." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 17 (March 1922), p. 55, ill. p. 58, calls it "Pond in the Valley".
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 22.
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, p. 112, ill., call it "The Hidden Brook" and date it about 1855.
Robert Fernier. La vie et l'oeuvre de Gustave Courbet. Vol. 1, Peintures, 1819–1865. Lausanne, 1977, p. 250, no. 460, ill. p. 251, calls it "Paysage rocheux, vallée de la Loue"; dates it 1865.
Pierre Courthion. L'opera completa di Courbet. Milan, 1985, p. 99, no. 439, ill. p. 98, dates it 1865.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 426, ill.
Jeffery Howe inCourbet: Mapping Realism; Paintings from the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and American Collections. Ed. Jeffery Howe. Exh. cat., McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. Chestnut Hill, Mass., 2013, colorpl. 38, dates it 1865.
Laura D. Corey and Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen. "Visions of Collecting." Making The Met, 1870–2020. Ed. Andrea Bayer with Laura D. Corey. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2020, p. 265 n. 46.
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