The Source

Gustave Courbet French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 811

Rejecting the convention of showing an idealized, statuesque female figure based on classical models, in this work Courbet dropped the trappings of an academic allegory or, indeed, of a picture with a high-minded pretext. His picture of a woman embracing a cascade of water may have been a response to a work by Ingres exhibited in Paris the previous year, which depicts a hyper-idealized nude holding a jar from which water pours as an allusion to spring or a river source.

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

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