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

Manders, 2010 1855, Couture Oldenburg, 1966 1827, Cole

Upcoming Events

Sep
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1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Sep 18 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
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 [...]
6:00 pm Lecture: Costuming Hollywood in its Golden Age
Lecture: Costuming Hollywood in …
Sep 18 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Lecture: Costuming Hollywood in its Golden Age
Lecture: Costuming Hollywood in its Golden Age: Fit for a Screen: The Costume & Textile Society invites you into the world of Hollywood costume design [...]
Sep
19
Fri
12:00 pm Gallery Talk: The Intriguing Medium of Rock
Gallery Talk: The Intriguing Med…
Sep 19 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Gallery Talk: The Intriguing Medium of Rock
Albert Bierstadt, In the Mountains, 1867, oil on canvas Gallery Talk: The Intriguing Medium of Rock: Take a closer look at Carl Andre’s Stone Field [...]
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Sep 19 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
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 [...]
7:00 pm Film: Middle of Nowhere
Film: Middle of Nowhere
Sep 19 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Film: Middle of Nowhere
Film: Middle of Nowhere: When her husband is sentenced to eight years in prison, a woman drops out of medical school in order to focus [...]

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Hours:
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