Linda Nochlin is one of the most influential art historians of our time. For more than four decades, she has been at the forefront of the feminist critique of art history, playing a pivotal role in shaping the course of the discipline. Since completing a doctorate on Gustave Courbet in the early 1960s, she has devoted herself to a lifelong study of the French artist, arguably the most radical of all nineteenth century painters and one of the fathers of modern art.
Now, in this extraordinary book, Nochlin presents her complete writings on Courbet's work. Every aspect of his œuvre – from his vast realist depictions of provincial French life, allegorical works and paint-encrusted landscapes to his dark, brooding portraits, sensual nudes and earthy still lifes – comes under her scrutiny.
In a specially written introduction, Nochlin considers Courbet's lasting impact not only on later painting but also on the practice of art history itself. With essays spanning forty years, Courbet is much more than a monograph on a single artist. It is also the story of the intellectual development of one of our leading writers on the visual arts.