Going Fishing (1865) by Gustave Courbet

Going Fishing - Gustave Courbet - 1865

Artwork Information

TitleGoing Fishing
ArtistGustave Courbet
Dimensions89.5 x 116.9 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Going Fishing

The artwork “Going Fishing,” created by the renowned artist Gustave Courbet in 1865, exemplifies the principles of the Realism art movement. This genre painting, executed in oil on canvas, measures 89.5 by 116.9 centimeters. It successfully captures a moment in everyday life with authenticity, eschewing any romantic idealization. The painting is part of a private collection, illustrating Courbet’s commitment to portraying scenes from real life with truthful representation.

In the artwork, Courbet presents a coastal landscape featuring individuals engaged in the preparation for or the act of fishing. The vastness of the sky, with its subdued tones, dominates much of the composition, suggesting an overcast day, and it’s reflected in the tranquil sea’s horizon. The shoreline is depicted with rugged, uneven rocks, where figures are scattered at different focal points. The central figures, likely fishermen, are captured in the midst of their activity—one person stands prominently in the foreground, holding what appears to be a fishing pole. The attire and possessions of the figures indicate a humble, realistic portrayal of the working class, consistent with the themes typically explored by Courbet and the Realist movement. Sailing vessels can be seen in the distance, further emphasizing the maritime theme of the painting. Courbet’s brushwork is visible, adding texture and a sense of immediacy to the scene, inviting viewers to contemplate the simple yet profound act of going fishing.

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