Honoring the Everyday : Notes on Gustave Courbet

June 10 is the birthday of an artist who gave ordinary life the scale and importance once largely reserved for royalty, religion and mythology.

Consider the introspective look on the face of Joanna Hiffernan in Courbet’s Jo, La Belle Irlandaise, c. 1865–6, seen below.

Jo, La Belle Irlandaise, 1865–6. The Met. H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929. Met’s photo in public domain.