Alex Seltzer

  • Gustave Courbet: All the World’s a Studio

    IF GUSTAVE COURBET’S THE ARTIST’S Studio: A Real Allegory Determining Seven Years of My Artistic Life has remained one of the most perplexing paintings of the 19th century, certain unpublished sources reflect on some of its paradoxical features, indicating, in particular, that Courbet’s work was a veiled attempt to counter the barrage of criticism aimed at his art. First, what seems obvious must be pointed out: that its enigmatic character is an integral part of the raison d’être of L’Atelier. The picture, with its fancy title, was meant to “épater le bourgeois,” in the words of Baudelaire, and