Gustave Courbet

Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) came to Paris in 1840 to study art, preferring self-teaching by working from paintings and models in the Louvre. Greatly influenced by the 1848 Revolution, he became a realist, painting the lives and concerns of ordinary people and becoming involved in anti-government movements. He was imprisoned for six months in 1871 for his part in the uprising of the Commune, and spent the last few years of his life an exile in Switzerland.