L'Origine Du Monde (The Origin of the World), Gustave Courbet


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L'Origine Du Mond - The Most Provocative Painting by Gustave Courbet

Gustave Courbet's "L'Origine Du Monde" is a daring and provocative painting that has both fascinated and scandalized art lovers for over a century. Completed in 1866, this artwork is renowned for its audacious exploration of the human form and sexuality.

The painting is an explicit close-up view of a woman's lower torso, focusing intensely on her genitalia. Rendered with exquisite detail, Courbet's brushwork captures the intricate nuances of skin, hair, and shadow. It is a startlingly realistic portrayal of female anatomy, challenging societal norms and artistic conventions of its time.

The title, "L'Origine Du Monde," translates to "The Origin of the World," inviting viewers to contemplate the very essence of human existence. Courbet's choice of subject matter, so graphically rendered, was a radical departure from the idealized depictions of the female form prevalent in art history.

Courbet himself kept the painting private, revealing it only to select individuals, including fellow artists and collectors. For years, it remained largely hidden from the public eye due to its explicit nature.

In the 20th century, as societal attitudes toward art and sexuality evolved, "L'Origine Du Monde" gradually gained recognition as a significant work of art. It became a symbol of the shifting boundaries of artistic expression and the celebration of the human body in all its raw, unapologetic beauty.

The painting's significance extends beyond its explicit content. It challenges viewers to confront their own perceptions of sensuality, identity, and the human experience. Courbet's meticulous craftsmanship, coupled with his audacity in confronting societal norms, ensures that "L'Origine Du Monde" remains a thought-provoking and enduring masterpiece, a testament to the power of art to push boundaries and challenge conventions.

Today, the painting is on display at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, where it continues to captivate and spark discussions among visitors, highlighting the timeless allure and controversy surrounding Courbet's exploration of the human form and its origins.


Gustave Courbet - Artist profile

Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) was a groundbreaking French painter and a leading figure in the Realist art movement of the 19th century. Born in Ornans, France, Courbet rejected traditional academic art, choosing instead to portray the everyday lives of ordinary people in his works. His commitment to realism led him to depict subjects that were often considered unconventional or controversial at the time.

Courbet's art challenged the established norms of his era, and his boldness extended beyond his canvas. He famously declared, "I am who I am," emphasizing his independent spirit and disregard for societal expectations. His politically engaged works, such as "The Burial at Ornans" and "The Stonebreakers," reflected his deep empathy for the working class and his criticism of social injustice.

Courbet's impact on the art world was profound, influencing future generations of artists, including the Impressionists and the avant-garde movements. His legacy endures as a champion of artistic freedom and a pioneer of Realism, forever changing the course of art history.

Available as a fine art print and as a stretched canvas panel (heavy fine art canvas stretched over 1.5 inch deep edge solid wood frame).

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All prints are made using archival art stocks and UV pigment inks to give up to 200 years life. Prints are sold unframed and unmounted.



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Size and Printed Materials

Fine art papers are printed without any additional white border Please let us know at the time of ordering if you would like a small additional white border.

Rolled canvas options have an additional white border of approximately 2.5 inches (7cm) on all 4 sides to aid stretching.

Ready to hang canvas panels are stretched on 1.5 inch deep solid pine frames from sustainable forestry sources. The image is mirrored on all 4 sides to give an aesthetically pleasing finish.

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We print on the finest quality fine art papers with textured, smooth and lustre finishes for prints which last a lifetime. From aceo to 40x80 inch large format, every print has our lifetime quality guarantee.

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Have your gift wrapped

Why not have us gift wrap your order and attach a personalised message to the recipient. Available for all orders. Each order is hand wrapped in high quality gift wrap with meatllic ribbon and bow. Your personalised message is printed on a card which is included with your order.

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This was a present for my wife and she loves it. The quality is very good. Thanks for your excellent service.

Fantastic packaging and a stunning print. Thank you!

Great quality and a good idea to include a 'free gift' mini-pic to show what the other finishes are like.

Really excellent print quality! I have just had my print framed and it looks great thank you

This arrived quickly and is great quality, thank you! :)

My art print arrived quickly and in excellent condition! Very high quality print! Thank you!!

love my print! Very fast professional service Thank you very much

I ordered the canvas panel as a gift for my sister and she was delighted the canvas is really good quality and perfectly stretched. The finish on the back was really profesionally done too

Amazing print well printed and a reasonable price

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