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The Silent River

Gustave Courbet

European Art

On View: Beaux-Arts Court, South, 3rd Floor
In this rural French landscape, Gustave Courbet employed many of his nontraditional painting techniques to convey a lush natural setting. He applied delicate daubs with a loaded brush for foliage and smudged wet paint for the chalky surface of a rocky cliff. Using a palette knife, he created the illusion of erosion in the large isolated rock.

Courbet’s ultimate goal in all painting was to create “living art,” which he often conveyed through loose, broken brushstrokes and intentionally unfinished passages. In his landscapes, in particular, this approach allowed the viewer to experience the tranquility of nature in its varying states.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1868
    DIMENSIONS 27 7/8 x 42 3/16 in. (70.8 x 107.2 cm) Frame: 33 x 47 5/8 x 2 3/4 in. (83.8 x 121 x 7 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "G. Courbet"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Beaux-Arts Court, South, 3rd Floor
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Horace O. Havemeyer
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Gustave Courbet (French, 1819-1877). The Silent River, 1868. Oil on canvas, 27 7/8 x 42 3/16 in. (70.8 x 107.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Horace O. Havemeyer, 41.1259 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 41.1259_reference_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 41.1259_reference_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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