Courbet portrayed himself smoking a pipe several times in the late 1840s. A painting, submitted to the Salon of 1850–51, now in Montpellier, presents him with a dreamy, almost somnolent expression. That painting, probably done in 1849, originally showed the artist in a hat, which must date from this same time.

In portraying himself as a peasant (his family were in fact wealthy farmers), Courbet may have been inspired by Dutch low-life genre painting. The defiant, arrogant expression of the drawing, however, surely reflects Courbet’s identification with the peasantry and disdain for the social and artistic status quo of nineteenth-century France.

Gustave Courbet
French, 1819–1877
Self-Portrait, c. 1849
Black chalk on paper
Purchased through the gift of James Junius Goodwin, 1950.605

From Our Collection

Warhol, 1986 1852, Jongkind 1655, Sweerts 1543, van Hemessen

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Movies & Music: Desire: An automotive engineer bound for a holiday in Spain meets a sultry jewel thief. 1936. USA. 95 min. Not Rated. B&W. [...]
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23
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1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
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Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]

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Hours:
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First Thursdays: 11 am – 8 pm

Admission:
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Adults: $10
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