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From the McMullen Museum
The French artist Gustave Courbet (1819–77), who painted this portrait, was the 19th century’s “chief representative of realism,” writes Boston College art professor Jeffery Howe in the catalogue for the McMullen’s fall show of 49 works. The distinction opened the artist to both ridicule and emulation, and the two responses are tracked in this exhibition: through cartoons (e.g., of the painter eyeballing the sole of a worn boot); and through intimate landscapes and scenes of poverty. Included are works by admirers in America (La Farge, Homer) and Belgium, where portions of this show were displayed at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts. Among Courbet’s Belgian disciples was Alfred Stevens, whose portrait, above, the Frenchman produced circa 1861. Courbet: Mapping Realism runs through December 8.