The Cellist, Self-Portrait (1847) by Gustave Courbet

The Cellist, Self-Portrait - Gustave Courbet - 1847

Artwork Information

TitleThe Cellist, Self-Portrait
ArtistGustave Courbet
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions46 1/8 x 35 1/2 in (117 x 90 cm)
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationNationalmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden

About The Cellist, Self-Portrait

The artwork titled “The Cellist, Self-Portrait” is an oil on canvas painting by the artist Gustave Courbet, dated to 1847. It represents a self-portrait genre and is a notable work within the Romanticism art movement. The dimensions of this piece are 46 1/8 x 35 1/2 inches (117 x 90 cm). Presently, the artwork is housed in the Nationalmuseum, located in Stockholm, Sweden.

The painting captures Gustave Courbet himself in the act of playing the cello. He is depicted almost frontally with his body angled slightly to the right, providing a sense of depth and perspective. His gaze is turned away from the viewer, appearing pensive and absorbed in the music he is presumably creating. Courbet’s use of light and shadow in the painting adds to the dramatic effect typical of the Romantic era, drawing attention to the hands and the instrument, while the rest of the composition fades into muted, darker tones. The detailed rendering of the cello alongside the contrast of Courbet’s expressive face and the less defined background emphasizes the emotional intensity of the artist and underscores the personal nature of a self-portrait.

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