Galvanized by the success of Cabanel's "Birth of Venus" (Musée d'Orsay, Paris) at the Salon of 1863, Courbet sought to challenge the French Academy on its own terms with a painting of a nude that would be accepted by the increasingly rigid—and arbitrary—Salon jury. His first attempt, in 1864, was rejected on the grounds of indecency; however two years later, his "Woman with a Parrot" was accepted for the Salon of 1866. While aspects of "Woman with a Parrot"—notably, the figure's pose and subtly modeled flesh tones—aligned it with academic art, viewers were shocked by the presence of the model's discarded clothing and disheveled hair. Jules-Antoine Castagnary, Courbet's great defender, however, praised the artist for representing a "woman of our time."


  • Title: Woman with a Parrot
  • Creator Lifespan: 1819/1877
  • Date Created: 1866
  • Physical Dimensions: w1956 x h1295 mm
  • Type: Paintings
  • External Link: MMA
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Provenance Extent: Complete
  • Provenance: the artist (until 1870; sold in spring for Fr 15,000 to Bordet); Jules Bordet, Dijon (1870–98; deposited at Durand-Ruel, Paris, on February 2, 1895, deposit no. 8623; deposited at Durand-Ruel, New York, on November 4, 1895, deposit no. 5358; sold on April 30, 1898, for Fr 20,000 to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, New York, 1898; stock no. 1994; sold on April 30, for $12,000 to Havemeyer]; Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (1898–his d. 1907); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (1907–d. 1929; cat., 1931, pp. 76–77, ill.)
  • Medium Extent: Complete
  • Inscription Extent: Complete
  • Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): .66 / Gustave.Courbet.
  • Description Extent: Complete
  • Credit Line Extent: Complete
  • Credit Line: H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
  • Artist: Gustave Courbet (French, Ornans 1819–1877 La Tour-de-Peilz)

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps