Oct 29, 2007

Panoramic View of the Alps, Les Dents du Midi

Panoramic View of the Alps, Les Dents du Midi


Gustave Courbet

(French, 1819–1877)

Oil on fabric

Framed: 172 x 230 x 8.5 cm (67 11/16 x 90 9/16 x 3 3/8 in.); Unframed: 151.2 x 210.2 cm (59 1/2 x 82 3/4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund and various donors by exchange 1964.420

Did you know?

This late, unfinished painting reveals some of Courbet's techniques. At the top of the mountains you can see how different brushstrokes and thickly applied paint were used to differentiate the texture of the clouds from the snow.


Courbet was still working on this large landscape, intended for the Paris Universal Exposition of 1879, when he died in December 1877. He painted it during his exile in Switzerland, where he had fled after being condemned for subversive activities in the Paris Commune of 1871. The view looks south over Lake Geneva toward the mountains called Les Dents du Midi. While some areas are heavily worked with a palette knife, the lower right remains unfinished.

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