Gustave Courbet, the face of «The Origin of the World» by Rédaction de Paris Match

Gustave Courbet, the face of «The Origin of the World»

byRédaction de Paris Match

Kobo ebook | March 22, 2013 | French

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This is the story of a discovery that shook the art world and stacked expert against expert. Released a few short days after the Paris Match revelations about Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World, our story began in 2010 when an art collector acquired this “lustful beauty” in a Parisian antique shop for €1,400. Upon arriving home, he noticed the painting’s edges had been severed, as if cut away from a larger work. He also noticed that it hadn’t been signed. Yet he later discovered a stamp on the canvas’ back, perhaps that of a local hardware store. The collector spent endless hours hunting through documents, hoping to retrace the identity of this mystery woman. Finally, one night: “Shaking, he downloaded an online copy of The Origin, made a life-size print (46 by 55 cm) and placed it nearly exactly over his painting … a revelation.”

In June, luck struck once again: he discovered a copy of Courbet’s Woman With a Parrot. It was nearly the same portrait. The woman’s name was Joanna Hiffernan, the painter’s model and mistress, undoubtedly the subject of The Origin of the World. Following a four-month investigation, he met Gustave Courbet expert Jean-Jacques Fernier at the Gustave Courbet Institute, “the only person qualified to attribute the master’s works.”

The expert confirmed that indeed, the scandalous painting was an incomplete work, a fragment from a larger work. The collector turned his painting over to the specialists at the private art research center, CARAA. Their results were a perfect match. The analysis provided sufficient proof for Jean-Jacques Fernier to register the work in volume III of the Gustave Courbet catalogue raisonné.

This fantastic discovery is exclusively detailed here in the context of Courbet’s life: the most unusual story of The Origin of the World.

By Anne-Cécile Beaudoin, Danièle Georget and François Pédron

Title:Gustave Courbet, the face of «The Origin of the World»Format:Kobo ebookPublished:March 22, 2013Publisher:FilipacchiLanguage:French

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:2357102721

ISBN - 13:9782357102729