Courbet painted many works depicting the coast of the English Channel at Tourville and Etretat in the latter half of the 1860s. This coastline provided the stage for works by Corot, Boudin and Monet, and these artists were dubbed the Saint-Siméon Group after a site in this region. Courbet was one of the most active members of this group. In 1868 Courbet, Manet, Monet and Boudin participated in the International Seascape Exhibition in Le Havre. It is thought that Waves was painted on the coast at Etretat in 1869. Courbet's powerful brushwork can be seen in the expression of the constantly changing waves and sky. The huge waves with their white caps rise up and crash under the heavy sky. The waves eventually crash on the huge crags in the foreground. This transitory moment was captured on canvas by his virtuosity. Courbet created several other works on this subject in the same year. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no.65)


  • Title: Waves
  • Creator Lifespan: 1819 - 1877
  • Creator Nationality: French
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: La Tour-de-Peilz
  • Creator Birth Place: Ornans
  • Date Created: c. 1870
  • Location Created: France
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings: Signed lower left: G. Courbet.
  • Provenance: Auc. M. X. (Reitlinger), Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 1. 6. 1908, no. 9; Gradt; Auc. X., Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 16-17. 12. 1919, no. 233; Barbazanges; Kojiro Matsukata; Sequestered by the French Government, 1944; Returned to Japan, 1959.
  • Physical Dimensions: w925 x h725 mm
  • Painter: Gustave Courbet
  • Object title (Japanese):
  • Object notes (Japanese): 1860年代後半、クールベはトルーヴィルやエトルタなどの英仏海峡に面した海岸をよく描いた。この地方の海岸はコロー、ブーダン、モネなどの制作の舞台であり、彼らは活動の中心地の名にちなんで「サン=シメオン派」と名付けられていたが、クールベもまた、その最も活動的なメンバーの一人であった。1868年にはマネ、モネ、ブーダンと共にル・アーヴルの「国際海景画展」に参加している。この《波》は1869年にエトルタで描かれたと推定される作品で、その絶え間なく変化し続ける波と空は、クールベの驚嘆すべき筆力によって不動の実在となっている。重くふさがれた空の下に巨大な波が白い波頭をあげて今まさに崩れかかろうとしている。その一瞬の動きをメチエで捉え、あたかも巨大な岩のように画面に定着させている。本作品には、同じ年に描かれたと推定されるほぼ同じ構図の異作が数点存在する。(出典: 国立西洋美術館名作選. 東京, 国立西洋美術館, 2006. cat. no. 65)
  • Artist Name (Japanese): クールベ、ギュスターヴ
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: Matsukata Collection, http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/privacy.html
  • External Link: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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