Pierre-Auguste Cot, The Storm, 1880
Oil on Canvas, MET, 87.15.134
Gustave Courbet, Young Ladies of the Village, 1851-1852
Oil on Canvas, MET, 40.175
This painting captures the essence of the realist movement because the work portrays everyday subject matter of young women walking through a valley near their village. The figures have more naturalistic features then those seen in Cot’s The Storm. Courbet portrays the everyday lives of his sisters in order to connect art to the middle class while Cot portrays idealized, mythological figures. Young Ladies of the Village is included in this exhibition because of its realist characteristics as well as representing style and subject matter of artists before Cot creates his most popular paintings.
Edgar Degas, Sulking, 1870
Oil on Canvas, MET, 29.100.43
This painting affirms the evolving characteristics of the realist movement. This painting shows figures in nicer clothing yet the woman is maintaining an interesting posture that could reflect a familial or intimate relationship. Sulking and The Storm both encompass intriguing female protagonists along with male figures who have gentler expressions. Both works also show the figures close together possibly reflecting an intimate relationship. These paintings, although being different in style, still relate in their subject matter. Cot and Degas echo similar concepts but employ academic and realist characteristics.
Pierre-Auguste Cot, Springtime, 1873
Oil on Canvas, MET, 2012.575
Springtime is another of Cot’s well-known paintings where the same figures of The Storm are seen but in a different scene. This painting serves to display another academic painting for comparison with the other realist paintings. Cot further expresses the idealized figures and their intimate relationship in Springtime, the figures are even in the same clothing. The background suggests the figures were together in this place before being forced to flee as shown in The Storm. The classicizing dress and use of light reveals Cot’s dedication to academic painting and was praised for such character.