The Most Arrogant Man in France: Gustave Courbet and the Nineteenth-Century Media Culture

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9780691126791: The Most Arrogant Man in France: Gustave Courbet and the Nineteenth-Century Media Culture

The modern artist strives to be independent of the public's taste--and yet depends on the public for a living. Petra Chu argues that the French Realist Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) understood this dilemma perhaps better than any painter before him. In The Most Arrogant Man in France, the first comprehensive reinterpretation of Courbet in a generation, Chu tells the fascinating story of how, in the initial age of mass media and popular high art, this important artist managed to achieve an unprecedented measure of artistic and financial independence by promoting his work and himself through the popular press.


The Courbet who emerges in Chu's account is a sophisticated artist and entrepreneur who understood that the modern artist must sell--and not only make--his art. Responding to this reality, Courbet found new ways to "package," exhibit, and publicize his work and himself. Chu shows that Courbet was one of the first artists to recognize and take advantage of the publicity potential of newspapers, using them to create acceptance of his work and to spread an image of himself as a radical outsider. Courbet introduced the independent show by displaying his art in popular venues outside the Salon, and he courted new audiences, including women.


And for a time Courbet succeeded, achieving a rare freedom for a nineteenth-century French artist. If his strategy eventually backfired and he was forced into exile, his pioneering vision of the artist's career in the modern world nevertheless makes him an intriguing forerunner to all later media-savvy artists.

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"This important book will instantly claim a place among the standard works on Courbet. Petra Chu has done an admirable job of tying together art, literature, and history to put Courbet in context in a way that has not been done before. She reveals a Courbet who is ambitious to succeed and who realizes that the new media of nineteenth-century France can be harnessed to his ambition. With this book, Chu brings to fruition a lifetime of studying Courbet and nineteenth-century French art."--Patricia Mainardi, City University of New York

"Petra Chu has worked on Courbet throughout her long and productive career and this book is a capstone of her work, the product of considerable thought, insight, perception, and interpretation. Covering all phases of his evolution, from his earliest self-portraits to his late landscapes, she contextualizes Courbet in new ways and ties him to celebrity and media culture so that we can see how he thought as well as why he reacted in his work as he did. This is no small achievement."--Gabriel P. Weisberg, University of Minnesota

"The Most Arrogant Man in France is an original study of Courbet's entrepreneurial methods, and as such distinguishes itself from the rest of the voluminous recent writing on the artist. Petra Chu carefully sifts through Courbet's contacts with the press, newly investigates his patronage, and speculates about his appeal to the wider public. The book will interest not just art historians but also general readers since it dissects the intelligence and entrepreneurial flair of a canonical artistic personality who anticipates artists such as Dalí and Warhol."--Albert Boime, UCLA

About the Author:

Petra ten-Doesschate Chu is the editor and translator of The Letters of Gustave Courbet and the author of many books, including Nineteenth-Century European Art (Abrams/Prentice Hall). The recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, she is the founder and managing editor of the journal Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide

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Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu
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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2007. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The modern artist strives to be independent of the public s taste--and yet depends on the public for a living. Petra Chu argues that the French Realist Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) understood this dilemma perhaps better than any painter before him. In The Most Arrogant Man in France, the first comprehensive reinterpretation of Courbet in a generation, Chu tells the fascinating story of how, in the initial age of mass media and popular high art, this important artist managed to achieve an unprecedented measure of artistic and financial independence by promoting his work and himself through the popular press. The Courbet who emerges in Chu s account is a sophisticated artist and entrepreneur who understood that the modern artist must sell--and not only make--his art. Responding to this reality, Courbet found new ways to package, exhibit, and publicize his work and himself. Chu shows that Courbet was one of the first artists to recognize and take advantage of the publicity potential of newspapers, using them to create acceptance of his work and to spread an image of himself as a radical outsider. Courbet introduced the independent show by displaying his art in popular venues outside the Salon, and he courted new audiences, including women. And for a time Courbet succeeded, achieving a rare freedom for a nineteenth-century French artist. If his strategy eventually backfired and he was forced into exile, his pioneering vision of the artist s career in the modern world nevertheless makes him an intriguing forerunner to all later media-savvy artists. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780691126791

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Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu
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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2007. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The modern artist strives to be independent of the public s taste--and yet depends on the public for a living. Petra Chu argues that the French Realist Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) understood this dilemma perhaps better than any painter before him. In The Most Arrogant Man in France, the first comprehensive reinterpretation of Courbet in a generation, Chu tells the fascinating story of how, in the initial age of mass media and popular high art, this important artist managed to achieve an unprecedented measure of artistic and financial independence by promoting his work and himself through the popular press. The Courbet who emerges in Chu s account is a sophisticated artist and entrepreneur who understood that the modern artist must sell--and not only make--his art. Responding to this reality, Courbet found new ways to package, exhibit, and publicize his work and himself. Chu shows that Courbet was one of the first artists to recognize and take advantage of the publicity potential of newspapers, using them to create acceptance of his work and to spread an image of himself as a radical outsider. Courbet introduced the independent show by displaying his art in popular venues outside the Salon, and he courted new audiences, including women. And for a time Courbet succeeded, achieving a rare freedom for a nineteenth-century French artist. If his strategy eventually backfired and he was forced into exile, his pioneering vision of the artist s career in the modern world nevertheless makes him an intriguing forerunner to all later media-savvy artists. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780691126791

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Book Description Princeton University Press, 2007. Book Condition: New. The modern artist strives to be independent of the publicness taste - and yet depends on the public for a living. This book argues that the French Realist Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) understood this dilemma perhaps better than any painter before him. Num Pages: 248 pages, 49 color plates. 88 halftones. BIC Classification: ACV; AFC; AGB. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 280 x 208 x 24. Weight in Grams: 1214. . 2007. Hardcover. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780691126791

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Book Description Princeton University Press. Book Condition: New. The modern artist strives to be independent of the publicness taste - and yet depends on the public for a living. This book argues that the French Realist Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) understood this dilemma perhaps better than any painter before him. Num Pages: 248 pages, 49 color plates. 88 halftones. BIC Classification: ACV; AFC; AGB. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 280 x 208 x 24. Weight in Grams: 1214. . 2007. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780691126791

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