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Gustave Courbet's 'A Burial At Ornans'

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Often times in life people tend to “bend the truth” when portraying stories, images and their lives to make it seem different than it really is. This was still true back in the 19th century when Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, and Impressionism movements were in full swing in the art community. Out of all of the 19th century art movements, realism appealed to me above all others. The realism style of art attempts to represent a certain subject matter in a true manner as it would be seen in real life, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, impossible, exotic and supernatural elements. The realism movement began as a reaction to the Neoclassicism and Romanticism art forms. Artists were fed up with the constant creation…show more content…
Each artist created an abundance of beautiful and realistic artworks, but the artwork that stood out to me the most of all was “A Burial At Ornans” by Gustave Courbet. This oil on canvas painting was created in 1849-1850 and is considered one of the major turning points of 19th century French art. The painting depicts his great-uncle’s funeral in September of 1848 in Courbet's birthplace, the French town of Ornans. The same people who attended the funeral were used as the models for the painting, rather than models portraying someone else. Courbet said that he "painted the very people who had been present at the interment, all the townspeople". The result gives a pragmatic presentation of them and their life in Ornans.This painting treats a normal rural funeral with harsh realism, and on the massive scale that is typically used for the heroic or religious scenes of historic paintings. Its 1850 showcase at the Paris Salon created an instantaneous positive reaction and promptly brought Courbet fame. “A Burial At Ornans” is currently displayed to the public at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris,
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