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In the Forest
Gustave Courbet
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A few rays of sunlight break through the canopy of this tranquil forest, reflecting off the surface of a small pool and the nearby trees. A hind is visible at the water’s edge, head bent down to drink, while a stag rests on the grass in the foreground.

Although he was regarded as an accomplished landscape painter in his lifetime, Courbet became better known for his figurative paintings – yet landscapes make up more than two-thirds of his body of work. His approach to landscape painting was incredibly modern. He moved away from the traditional use of landscapes as a backdrop for biblical, mythological or historical events, instead using them as an opportunity to depict a feeling of vitality, immediacy and freedom of expression. To achieve this effect he used a variety of tools to apply paint, from a palette knife to his own thumbs.

Key facts
Artist Gustave Courbet
Artist dates 1819 - 1877
Full title In the Forest
Date made 1859
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 80 x 99.1 cm
Acquisition credit Sir Hugh Lane Bequest, 1917
Inventory number NG3241
Location in Gallery Not on display
On loan to Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
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