PROPERTY FROM A FRENCH PRIVATE COLLECTION
Courbet’s painting shows a hidden, womb-like landscape, atemporal, steeped in mystery and devoid of all human and animal presence. But Courbet adds to the fecund vision of nature removed from encroaching industrialisation expressed by his contemporaries in Barbizon. As for Cézanne painting the Mont Saint-Victoire in his native Provence, so for Courbet the Puits Noir of his native Franche-Comté held a deeply personal meaning, transporting him back to his roots and to his youth in Ornans. Unlike his wide open seascapes of the same period, with their infinite horizons, the present work is introspective, intimate, personal.
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