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At the Paris exhibition, a realistic picture became an event. The artist felt like a pioneer, making the central theme of the works of art of his contemporaries engaged in everyday activities. Particular weightiness and expressiveness to his canvas are given by the fact that he sees in the fact of life a generalizing meaning. The truthfulness and realism of the picture shocked the public. The artist announced the rejection of the conventions of academic art, from historical and literary themes in favor of real life.
The plot for the canvas was a real case from the life of Courbet, whom in the spring of 1854 was invited to Montpellier by Alfred Bruyat, an eminent patron of art and a collector of paintings. He was greatly impressed by Courbet's paintings, and he wished to order his portrait for him. The artist captured himself on canvas at the moment he met on the road to Montpellier with Bruyat himself and his servant, accompanied by a dog.
A dust-covered road, a winding ribbon, a horse-drawn cart visible around the bend, wretched houses in the distance, stunted greens along the edges of the road — everything was written out carefully and in detail. The colors are dim, a lot of light colors. The depth and blueness of the transparent sky with light clouds floating above are amazing.
The final stretch on this Courbet road was followed on foot. The painter looks like a real traveler, he is dressed like a traveler - in a light light shirt and trousers, a yellow vest, he has a heavy sketchbook over his shoulders, on which he hung a cloak from above, a staff in one hand and a hat taken off his head in the other in greeting despite a warm sunny day and the baking sun.
The poor painter is greeted with admiration by a rich philanthropist, elegantly and fashionably dressed, also leaning on a cane. The common details of both (and they will later become friends) are beards of a similar shape, but differing in color. It is symbolic that a wealthy collector takes off his hat to a poor talent as a sign of admiration for his talent.
Botticelli Hell Map