Offered by Galerie Meier
Old master and modern paintings
In this study, executed with great spontaneity and liveliness, we find the theme of nature, which is prevalent in the works of Gustave Courbet. The painting immediately transports us into the unique atmosphere of the dense, leafy forest of Fontainebleau, which Courbet depicted many times in his career.
Here, the artist uses his entire arsenal of painting methods, particularly the knife technique, which is recurrent in the master's work. These large flat areas provide a rich and varied texture, and are reworked, even scraped, revealing the underlying layers and preparation. This avant-garde technique inspired many artists, such as Cézanne in his early days, as well as some 20th century abstract artists, such as Gerhard Richter.
Courbet's palette, however, remains classical, namely ochres and green earths. The stream in the lower right is an important element of the painting, adding both a touch of brighter colour and thus contributing to the visual dynamic.