Nicos Dhikeos, Cypriot, 1896 - 1987 (Lyons)
Private Collection (Paris)
Private Collection (Geneva)
Art Market (New York)
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Standing Female Nude
Gustave Courbet (French, 1819 - 1877)
France (Place Created)
Compressed charcoal with stumping and lifting on laid paper
62.2 × 46 cm (24 1/2 × 18 1/8 in.)
"To paint human beings, and paint them well--that's the really difficult thing," said Gustave Courbet. His corpulent women shocked his critics, who were accustomed to less earthy depictions of the female form.
Though Courbet painted many female nudes, only two of his drawings of this subject survive. For this
Courbet made this drawing for a friend who remains unidentified. His inscription--Mon Vieux, C'en est une qu'on enverra à Sainte Beuve s'il nous embête! Gustave Ct. 28 Avril 49 (Old man, here's one to send Sainte Beuve if he gives us a hard time!)--refers to literary historian and critic Charles-Augustin Sainte-Beuve, who was known for his conservative opinions. The words Les Debats at the woman's elbow probably refer to Le Journal des Débats, which published arts criticism.