Portrait d’une jeune femme (c.1845)

Courbet, Gustave (1819-1877)

Portrait d’une jeune femme (Portrait of a Young Woman)
Oil on canvas, 28.3 x 21.0 cm
Princeton University Art MuseumPrinceton

Painted when Courbet was studying in Paris and making his living as a portraitist, this young woman has traditionally been identified as one of the artist’s sisters, but no documentation has been found to support the conjecture. The pale face emerging from a dark background reflects Courbet’s fascination with Rembrandt in the years between his arrival in Paris in 1839 and his trip to the Netherlands in 1846. This work was presumably a sketch, but no finished painting corresponding to it is known. (PUAM)