Installez l'application sur votre écran d'accueil pour y accéder plus rapidement.

Appuyez sur Share puis "Sur l'écran d'accueil"
7. Gustave Courbet, stirring up the lake


Gustave Courbet, stirring up the lake

Meeting François Bocion

“He is to the great what the lake is to the seas”: so began the 1925 monograph by writer and art critic Paul Budry (1883-1949) on François-Louis Bocion (1828-1890), “the Lake Geneva artist” – as illustrated by the passage where Bocion meets Courbet: “Understandably, Bocion irritated Courbet, the agitator who irony saw fit to exile to La Tour-de-Peilz. Just look at his studies of the lake; always whipped up by the gusting Vaudaire winds; waves high enough to sink the entire Vaud fleet. He works it up like a stage-manager directing extras in riot scenes: “Come on, howl, crash, smash!” Whereas for Bocion, it was more a case of sheltering in a fisherman’s hut until the worst of the storm had passed. Heroes, leaders, Legends of the ages and such belonged at sea; the lake was better suited to patient dreamers and romantics.”

Having rioted in the Commune, Courbet proceeded to stir up the lake, too. And there was a reason why Paul Budry had such good insights – he was the nephew of Jules, the proprietor of the Café du Centre. Nobody in Switzerland knew Courbet better than Jules.