Portrait of Jo, the Beautiful Irish Girl (1865) by Gustave Courbet

Portrait of Jo, the Beautiful Irish Girl - Gustave Courbet - 1865

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Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Jo, the Beautiful Irish Girl
ArtistGustave Courbet
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions54 x 65 cm
Art MovementRealism
Current LocationNationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden

About Portrait of Jo, the Beautiful Irish Girl

The artwork “Portrait of Jo, the Beautiful Irish Girl” is an exquisite piece by the artist Gustave Courbet, completed in the year 1865. The medium used is oil on canvas, and the piece is a testament to the Realism art movement of that period. It measures 54 x 65 cm and is classified as a portrait genre. Presently, the artwork is housed at the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden.

The artwork depicts a young woman, presumably of Irish descent based on the title, captured with a compelling sense of intimacy and realism. Her gaze is directed slightly away from the viewer, as if lost in thought or looking at something out of the viewer’s sight. The most striking feature of the portrait is the woman’s luxuriant, voluminous red hair that frames her face and cascades over her shoulders and down her back. The hair is rendered with great detail and depth of color, emphasizing the natural beauty and texture.

Her complexion is fair with delicate pink tones on her cheeks and nose, suggesting a sense of life and vitality. She wears a white blouse with lace detailing, hinting at modesty and simplicity in her attire. The blouse contrasts with the dark background, drawing the viewer’s attention more to her face and expression.

The woman’s pose and the manner in which she is portrayed is consistent with Courbet’s Realist philosophy, which sought to depict subjects truthfully without artifice or idealization. The attention to detail and the candid representation of the subject exemplify Courbet’s commitment to representing the observable world as it is.

Overall, the artwork is a striking and sensitive portrayal of a woman, capturing her individuality and character in a way that would resonate with the viewer and reflect the artistic intentions of the Realism movement.

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