Synopses & Reviews
Gustave Courbet (1819and#8211;77) was a French artist whose work heralded the realist movement of the nineteenth century and his paintings have had a profound influence on other artists from around the world, including Claude Monet, James McNeill Whistler, and Paul Cand#233;zanne. This catalog is published to accompany an exhibition of the same name at the McMullen Museum, Boston College, in the autumn of 2013, which was put together in tandem with the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. Approaching its subject from a unique perspective, Courbet:and#160;Mapping Realismand#160;looks at the artistand#8217;s reception on both sides of the Atlantic, and includes paintings by Courbet himself, as well as Belgian and American realist-influenced artists. American and Belgian scholars, including Jeffery Howe, Claude Cernuschi, Dominique Marechal, and Katherine Nahum, contribute essays that explore Courbetand#8217;s art in light of this expanded view of his career. Complete with color illustrations, Courbet:and#160;Mapping Realismand#160;showcases artwork from both the United States and Belgium that are rarely exhibited or published together.and#160;and#160;
"'Courbet: Mapping Realism,' at the McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, should be catnip to fans of Courbet; but it may baffle those coming to the artist for the first time. What, they might wonder, is all the fuss about? The show, which was organized by Jeffrey Howe, a professor of art history at Boston College, contains none of Courbetand#8217;s outrageous lesbian scenes or full-length nudes, no vaunting self-portraits, no vast, politically charged group portraits, no scenes of peasant laborers, and no outsized hunting scenes. . . . Howe and the McMullen deserve great credit for bringing so many Courbets to Boston, and for exploring his extensive influence here and in Belgium. Heand#8217;s one of the most complex and fascinating figures in 19th century art, and this show, which comes at him via an unexpected side alley, lets fresh air into old, forgotten rooms."
The Simon Collection, housed in London and France, is the finest assemblage of modern Belgian art outside Belgium. Accompanying an exhibition held at Boston Collegeand#8217;s McMullen Museum, A New Key
presents fifty-three works never before displayed in North America, including important paintings by Renand#233; Magritte, James Ensor, Frits van den Berge, Paul Delvaux, and others.
Full-color reproductions of the paintings are accompanied by seven essays that illuminate their significance and the distinctive contribution of Belgian art to the development of modernism. Addressing themes like the rise of Freudian psychology, the influence of carnival, and the trauma of two world wars, A New Key forges a new understanding of Belgiumand#8217;s long-neglected role in the development of modern art.
About the Author
Jeffery W. Howe is professor of fine arts at Boston College. He is the author of many books, including Houses of Worship and The Symbolist Art of Fernand Khnopff.and#160;and#160;
Table of Contents
Director's ForewordNancy Netzer
and#160;Preface and Historical OutlineJeffery Howe
and#160;Pauvre Belgique: Collecting Practices and Belgian Art in and Outside of BelgiumSura Levine
and#160;The Simon Collection - a Personal PerspectivePatrick Derom
and#160;A New Key: Modernism and National Identity in Belgian ArtJeffery Howe
and#160;Ensor's ParrotKatherine Nahum
and#160;"Laughter Liberates Us from Fear" - The Place of Carnival in Our LivesSusan A. Michalczyk
and#160;Occupied Belgium: The Art of WarJohn J. Michalczyk
and#160;Freudian Themes in the Symbolist Work of George MinneClaude Cernuschi
and#160;Works in the Exhibition