Sleeping Nude Woman (1862) by Gustave Courbet

Sleeping Nude Woman - Gustave Courbet - 1862

Artwork Information

TitleSleeping Nude Woman
ArtistGustave Courbet
Art MovementRealism

About Sleeping Nude Woman

The artwork titled “Sleeping Nude Woman” is a creation of the artist Gustave Courbet from the year 1862. As an exemplar of the Realism art movement, this piece falls within the genre of nude painting (nu). It presents the viewer with a depiction of a female form in repose, capturing a moment of vulnerability and private tranquility.

In the artwork, a woman is depicted lying on her back, her body arranged diagonally across the canvas, with her head resting on her bent arm, suggesting a state of restful sleep. Her skin tone is rendered in soft, warm hues that contrast with the dark, rich tones of the background. The setting is intimate, with the figure placed against heavy drapery and what appears to be a dark interior, possibly a bedroom, with a glimpse of a serene landscape visible through a window in the upper left-hand corner of the painting. The attention to detail in textural contrast and the naturalistic portrayal of the human form showcase Courbet’s dedication to Realism, eschewing the idealization prevalent in earlier artistic movements. This work encapsulates the artist’s commitment to depicting the candid truths of human existence, embodied through the frank portrayal of the nude figure.

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