Description of the painting by Gustave Courbet “Bathers”

Description of the painting by Gustave Courbet “Bathers”

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The scandalous picture of Gustave Courbet's The Bathers caused a wide public outcry when it was presented to the public. The artist violated almost all conceivable traditions adopted in the depiction of people, besides women.

Exaggerated proportions, extremely unusual and even disgusting for the audience of that time, the refusal to please the aesthetics is silent about the existence of dirt on the bodies and, moreover, the complete, absolute absence of the plot. The picture simply depicts bathers who do absolutely nothing.

Poses seem to hint to us that there might have been some kind of plot, but it is not here, and to draw an almost naked body of a non-mythical character at that time was considered an unwritten taboo. At the same time, it is impossible to find fault with the artist’s skill - an abundance of small details, realistic light and shadow, careful study, confident strokes. For this and other similar paintings the artist was hated and despised, and many famous people loudly expressed their negative opinion about all his work.

The following circumstance seriously aggravated the attitude to this picture: with a naked eye you can see a hint of Maria Magdalen in the pose of a girl who stretched out her hand in front of her, which was simply blasphemous and could not but cause maximum censure. Courbet was an artist who was far ahead of his time, and roughly broke the established framework and stereotypes, not caring for his own reputation and well-being; and it was precisely this that made his contribution to realism and nude painting particularly significant.

The wave of indignation that shook the entire art community, and also touched many great minds far from art, began the process of changing consciousness, made people think about the boundaries of the normal and acceptable, and despite the fact that those who wished to destroy them repeatedly encroached on the paintings, most of them Settled for many years in private collections and Courbet remained incomprehensible until the end of his life, he continued to do his important and necessary work, expressing himself through protest to long-standing foundations.

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