Lot 30
  • 30

Gustave Courbet

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Gustave Courbet
  • La Source du Lison
  • signed G. Courbet lower left
  • oil on canvas
  • 60.5 by 50cm., 24 by 19½in.


Probably Juliette Courbet, the artist’s sister (a gift from the artist, before his departure into exile in Switzerland in 1873)
Probably, Dr Jules Lequime (sale: Salle des Congrès, Brussels, 4-5 April 1892, lot 17)
Mr Vanderkelen (acquired from the above)
Acquired by the present owner in 2000


Ornans, Musée Courbet, Cet obscur objet de désirs, autour de l’origine du monde, 2014, illustrated in the catalogue


Probably, Robert Fernier, Catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre de Gustave Courbet, Paris, 1977, vol. II, p. 324, n.n., catalogued (as La Source du Lison, dated 1864, measurements 61 by 51cm, whereabouts unknown)

Catalogue Note

This work most likely dates from 1864, when Courbet painted an extensive series of works dedicated to the sources of the Loue and Lison rivers. Taken together with the depictions of the Puits-Noir and Grotte Sarrazine, these works form what has been described as the 'culmination of of the artist's fascination for the geology of his home region, and the aesthetic apotheosis of the subject in his oeuvre' (Laurence des Cars, in Gustave Courbet, exh. cat., Paris, 2007, p. 266).

Depicting the Lison, a tributary of the Loue which rises in Nans-sous-Sainte-Anne in Franche-Comté, the composition in the present work is very similar to a larger work catalogued by Robert Fernier (no. 402, measuring 91 by 73cm). Having been painted in what Fernier describes as 'conditions difficiles' and damaged, Courbet painted a second version of the subject measuring 54 by 45cm (Fernier no. 403). The emergence of the present work onto the market therefore brings to a total of three this series of related oils depicting this subject.