Oil on fabric
Framed: 112.4 x 93 x 12.1 cm (44 1/4 x 36 5/8 x 4 3/4 in.); Unframed: 81 x 61.2 cm (31 7/8 x 24 1/8 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1962.2
Courbet once wrote of Laure Borreau, the sitter in this portrait, "I am in love with a splendid lady, the driving force behind my triumph."
Painted during Courbet's stay in the Saintonge region of western France, this portrait depicts Laure Borreau, owner of a fabric store and ladies confectionery. As the leader of the Realist movement in France, Courbet aimed to convey his democratic and socialist ideals by portraying ordinary people in a truthful, unidealized manner. While considering himself a radical innovator, Courbet nonetheless exhibited this portrait under the title Mme L... at the Paris Salon of 1863.
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