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With its fittingly dramatic design, "Courbet and the Modern Landscape" accompanies the first major museum exhibition specifically to address Gustave Courbet's extraordinary achievement in landscape painting. Many of these carefully selected works produced from 1855 to 1876 - gathered from Asia, Europe, and North America - will be new to readers. The catalogue - which accompanies an exhibition at the Getty Museum to be held from February 21 to May 14, 2006 - highlights the artist's expressive responses to the natural environment. Essays by the curators examine Courbet's distinctly modern practice of landscape painting. Mary Morton's essay situates his landscapes in relation to his work in other genres, his critical reputation, and his role in establishing a new pictorial language for landscape painting. Charlotte Eyerman's essay investigates how later generations of nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists responded to Courbet's example. The catalogue also includes an essay by Dominique de Font-Reaulx, curator of photographs at the Musee d'Orsay, on the relationship between Courbet's work and landscape photography of the 1850s and 1860s.
Full-page colour plates are organized thematically by subject matter: cliffs and valleys; forests and streams; rocks and grottoes; the sea; snow; plus the late, melancholic visions of Swiss lakes and mountain ranges painted during Courbet's exile. It is lavishly illustrated in colour and mono.
Mary Morton is associate curator, and Charlotte Eyerman is assistant curator in the Department of Paintings at the Getty Museum.