Geneva Purchases a Panorama des Alpes by Gustave Courbet

Gustave Courbet (1819-1877)
Panorama des Alpes, c. 1876
Oil on canvas - 140 x 64 cm
Geneva, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire
Photo : Bettina Jacot-Descombes/MAH de Genève

20/5/14 - Acquisition - Geneva, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire - The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Geneva recently purchased a large painting by Gustave Courbet representing a Panorama des Alpes, produced late in his life after his exile in Switzerland directly from a private individual. The view showing the mountains of the Dents du Midi and the Grammont, is the same one he saw from the terrace of the house "Bon-Port" at Tour-de-Peilz, the village where he settled finally after leaving France and then died in 1877.
This canvas recalls another Alpine landscape by Courbet residing at the Cleveland Art Museum. Although he paints the same peaks, this one now takes up the entire space in the composition, no longer showing the figure of the shepherd surrounded by his goats. While Courbet has often been considered to have influenced Gustave Doré’s landscapes, here the opposite might be true.

The work, reflecting as pointed out by the museum’s press release "the pictorial force of the artist at a time when he was generally considered to be ’finished’ as a painter", has never been shown to the public before. It was listed in the inventory drawn up after Courbet’s death then in 1915 in the one made by Juliette Courbet, his sister, who inherited his estate.
The painting will be presented for the first time in the exhibition "Courbet, les années suisses" which is to take place at the Musée Rath from 5 September 2014 until 4 January 2015.

Version française

Didier Rykner, mardi 20 mai 2014

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