‘Falaise d’Etretat après, La Porte d’Aval’ 1869
79,8×99,6 cm, Private Collection
If you stay on the beach of #Étretat you see on the left the famous rock La Falaise d'Aval (‘Cliff, standing downstream’). It formed a large arch La Porte d'Aval (‘Lower Gate’), reminiscent of an elephant, plunging a long trunk into the waves.
Gustave Courbet was in #Normandy in August-September 1869 together with his friend and artist Díaz de la Peña. In just two months, Courbet created an unprecedented (at that time) series of seascapes - at least 30 paintings depicting the sea and rocks in Etretat in different angles, at different times of the day.
This reception was immediately picked up by impressionists - Claude Monet (series ‘Waterlilies’, ‘Haystack’, ‘Cathedral in Rouen’) and Paul Cezanne (see the Post №1 about his record series of paintings with Mount Sainte-Victoire).
The seascapes of Gustave #Courbet played a fundamental role in the formation of the art of modern landscapes and new trends in European painting. Gustave Courbet was the first to demonstrate:
• unprecedented speed of painting
• masterly possession of a palette knife
• large series of landscapes
• new subject of landscape painting – ‘Paysage de Mer’
• commercial success of landscape art
• realism painting on plain air