Greyhounds of Comte de Choiseul (1866) by Gustave Courbet

Greyhounds of Comte de Choiseul - Gustave Courbet - 1866

Artwork Information

TitleGreyhounds of Comte de Choiseul
ArtistGustave Courbet
Art MovementRealism

About Greyhounds of Comte de Choiseul

The artwork titled “Greyhounds of Comte de Choiseul” is a creation of the artist Gustave Courbet, dating back to 1866. It is emblematic of the Realism art movement and falls within the genre of animal painting. This piece was fashioned during a period when artists were beginning to portray everyday life and common subjects with a new sense of fidelity to the natural world.

The artwork captures two greyhound dogs with striking realism and detailed expression. The dog in the foreground is predominantly white with patches of tan, and the other, in the background, has a rich brown coat. Both dogs stand against a landscape that seems to juxtapose the solid earth with the distant, serene blue of the sky and what appears to be a calm sea. The stance and the musculature of the animals are rendered with meticulous attention to anatomical accuracy, which was Courbet’s way of celebrating the physicality of his subjects without any romanticization or idealism. The texture of their fur and the sentient expressions in their faces are expressed vividly, suggesting Courbet’s skill in capturing the essence of the creatures he painted. The perspective in which the dogs are presented showcases their elegant forms and the nobility often associated with the breed, reflecting the era’s interest in both the aesthetic and the natural study of animals.

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