Gustave Courbet @190  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Gustave Courbet
Criticism and legacy of Academic art, Art as an excuse for depicting prurient interests
"I have studied the art of the masters and the art of the moderns, avoiding any preconceived system and without prejudice. I have no more wanted to imitate the former than to copy the latter; nor have I thought of achieving the idle aim of 'art for art's sake.' No! I have simply wanted to draw from a thorough knowledge of tradition the reasoned and free sense of my own individuality. To know in order to do: such has been my thought. To be able to translate the customs, ideas, and appearance of my time as I see them — in a word, to create a living art — this has been my aim." Gustave Courbet, preface to World's Fair catalogue, 1855.




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