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Apple, Pear and Orange

This small work shows Courbet's ability to convey to us the realism of the fruit he is painting. Using subtle touches of light and shade he suggests the roundness and volume of the fruit. The rich colour and texture of the apple, pear and orange are heightened by being placed against a simple dark background.

In September 1871 Courbet was imprisoned in Sainte-Pélagie, in Paris, after having been found guilty, at trial, of participating in the destruction of the Vendôme Column. In prison he was given permission to paint in his cell. He executed a series of still lifes, many, like this, of fruit, a subject he had never before attempted. In their perception of form and beauty of touch many of the...

c. 1871-1872
Oil on panel
130.0 x 207.0mm
2384
Images and text: CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection, 2024