The queue is constantly getting longer in front of the Grand Palais and books are stacking up on the bookstore’s shelves: based on those simple criteria, the Courbet retrospective is surely the event most awaited. It is not easy to decide in teh abundance of the editorial production. Among the initiations to Courbet, the one by Manuel Jover is easily read. It follows the chronologic framework while giving emphasis to the major eras (the bohemian life at the beginning, the Parisian maturity to finish with the shattered man of the Commune and of the case of the Vendôme column, exiled in Switzerland). It is richly illustrated (even if the enlargeents are not always very convincing) and puts forward certain important episodes: the presentation at the Salon of the Baigneuses from 1853, the scandal of the Enterrement à Ornans(Buril at Ornans), the commission of theOrigine du monde-The origin of the world (who today would dare not mention it?), the friendship with Proudhon, journalist man Castagnary or the collector Bruyas.
• Courbet by Manuel Jover, Terrail, 2007, 256 p., 19 €, ISBN : 978-2-87939-334-6.
Review published in the newsletter #66 - from 15 November 2007 to 21 November 2007