A tribute from F. Bouroullec
As part of the festivities for the bicentenary of the birth of Gustave Courbet, the town of La Tour-de-Peilz has commissioned artist Franck Bouroullec to paint this monumental work, inaugurated on June 15, 2019.
The painter Gustave Courbet was born in Ornans on June 10, 1819 and died in La Tour-de-Peilz on December 31, 1877, having spent the last four years of his life on the shores of Lake Geneva. The fresco depicts a portrait of the master, an excerpt from his resident’s permit, a rendering of one of his most famous self-portraits, Le Désespéré (The Desperate Man), the sign from Café du Centre where he liked to put the world to rights with his friends, and a view of his home on the harbour, where he painted many of his famous Swiss landscapes.
This painting of major importance in Courbet’s work is also a premonitory piece of his exile to La Tour-De-Peilz because the eyes of the « Désespéré » resembles someone’s astounded eyes. As Courbet could see the Grammont mountain, the lake and the port from his home in Bon Port, he had to have the same look on his face admiring this beautiful landscape. This is the reason I renamed our Désespéré, « L’Ebahi ».
Extract of the mayor’s speech during the mural’s inauguration ceremony about Franck Bouroullec’s interpretation of the painting Le Désespéré (1844-1845).