This work is on view.
oil on canvas
- Dimensions (H x W x D)
44 1/4 in x 34 1/8 in
- Inscriptions & Markings
signature/maker's mark: G. Courbet, lower left corner
- Collection Area
- Object Type
- Credit Line
Gift of Col. C.E.S. Wood in memory of his wife, Nanny Moale Wood
- Accession Number
In his many self-portraits, Gustave Courbet reinvented his own image, casting himself in roles as diverse as poet, troubadour, and peasant. In this instance, he imagines himself as a musician. Cello technique requires that the bow be held in the right hand, even by left-handed players. The reversal of this standard in the painting indicates that the artist studied his image in a mirror.
Courbet painted two versions of The Violoncellist. It seems likely that the Portland painting was made first. X-rays of the canvas show that Courbet altered the figure's position and gestures. Also, the musical score was painted on another canvas and inserted into the composition. The other version, in the National Museum of Art in Stockholm, lacks the musical score, but was almost certainly based on the Portland version.
1998 The Other Nineteenth Century Portland Art Museum
2003 Paris to Portland: Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masters in Portland Collections Portland Art Museum