Gustave Courbet
French, 1819-1877

Mère Grégoire, 1855 and 1857/59

Oil on canvas
129 x 97.5 cm (50 3/4 x 38 3/8 in.)
Inscribed, lower left, on counter: G. C.
Wilson L. Mead Fund, 1930.78

Fernier 167

Mère Grégoire

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Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Paris, Rond-Point de l’Alma, Exposition des œuvres de M. G. Courbet, 1867, cat. 96.

Saint-Petersburg, Exposition centennale de l’art français à Saint-Petersbourg, 1912, cat. 347.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress: Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, June 1–November 1, 1933, cat. 237.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress: Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture, June 1–November 1, 1934, cat. 176.

Hartford, Connecticut, Wadsworth Atheneum, 43 Portraits, January 26–February 10, 1937, cat. 37.

Toledo Museum of Art, The Spirit of Modern France: An Essay on Painting in Society, 1745–1946, November–December 1946, cat. 26; traveled to Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, January–February 1947.

Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Gustave Courbet (1819–1877), September 30, 1977–January 2, 1978, cat. 45; traveled to London, Royal Academy of Art, January 18–March 19, 1978, cat. 43.

Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, European Portraits, 1600–1900 in the Art Institute of Chicago, July 8–September 11, 1978, cat. 16.

New York, Brooklyn Museum, Courbet Reconsidered, November 4, 1988–January 16, 1989, cat. 29; traveled to Minneapolis Institute of Arts, February 18–April 30, 1989.

Munich, Haus der Kunst, Corot, Courbet und die Maler von Barbizon: “Les amis de la nature,” February 4–April 21, 1996, cat. B 34.

Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Gustave Courbet, October 13, 2007–January 28, 2008, cat. 39; traveled to New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, February 27–May 18, 2008; Montpellier, Musée Fabre, June 14–September 28, 2008.

Publication History

Théophile Silvestre, Histoire des artistes vivants français et étrangers: Études d’après nature (Paris: E. Blanchard, 1857), pp. 273, 278.

Zacharie Astruc, Les 14 stations du salon de 1859: suivies d’un récit douloureux (Paris: Poulet-Malassis et De Broise, 1859), pp. 392–93.

Théophile Silvestre, Les artistes français: Études d’après nature (Brussels: Office de Publicité, 1861), p. 68.

Alexandre Schanne, Souvenirs de Schaunard (Paris: Charpentier, 1887), pp. 295–96.

Alexandre Estignard, Courbet: sa vie, ses oeuvres (Besançon: Delagrange-Louys, 1896), p. 181.

Georges Riat, Gustave Courbet: peintre, Les Maîtres de l’art moderne (Paris: H. Floury, 1906), pp. 54, 173, 254, 333, 366.

Charles Léger, Courbet, selon les caricatures et les images (Paris: P. Rosenberg, 1920), p. 69.

Marc Elder, À Giverny chez Claude Monet (Paris: Bernheim-Jeune, 1924), p. 28.

Charles Léger, Courbet, Maîtres d’autrefois (Paris: G. Crès et cie, 1929), pp. 41–42.

Creative Art, 6, 1 (1930), p. 17 (ill.).

Daniel Catton Rich, “‘Mère Grégoire’ by Courbet,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 24, 4 (1930), cover (ill.), pp. 42–43.

“Chicago Obtains Courbet’s Mère Grégoire,” The Art Digest 4, 14 (1930), pp. 5 (ill.), 6.

Katherine Grant Sterne, “Recent Museum Acquisitions,” Parnassus 2, 5 (1930), p. 36 (ill.).

Marie Elbé, “Le scandale Courbet,” Documents. Archéologie, Beaux-Arts, Ethnographie, Variétés, 4 (1930), pp. 232–33 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, “Report for the Year Nineteen Hundred Thirty,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 25, 4 (1931), pp. 32 (ill.), 44.

Charles Léger, “À la découverte des œuvres de Courbet,” L’Amour de l’art 12, 10 (1931), p. 399.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1932), pp. 49 (ill.), 148.

James O’Donnell Bennet, “Roto Depicts Work by Son of Great Artist,” Chicago Daily Tribune (April 3, 1932), p. G5.

Clarence J. Bulliet, Art Masterpieces in a Century of Progress Fine Arts Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: North-Mariano Press, 1933), no. 30 (ill.).

Daniel Catton Rich, “The Exhibition of French Art, Art Institute of Chicago,” Formes 33 (1933), p. 382 (ill.).

James O’Donnell Bennett, “Art Treasure Shows Vision of Round Earth,” Chicago Daily Tribune (September 10, 1933), p. 9.

James O’Donnell Bennett, “Renoir Gallery in Art Exhibit Worth a Million: Many French Masters of 19th Century Shown,” Chicago Daily Tribune (June 3, 1934), p. 15.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Collections (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1935), p. 26 (ill.), 27.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1941), pp. 32–33.

Lionello Venturi, Peintres Modernes (Paris: Albin Michel, 1941), pp. 222–23, fig. 148.

Edith Weigle, “Notes of Art and Art Exhibits,” Chicago Daily Tribune (January 5, 1941), p. F4.

Art Institute of Chicago, An Illustrated Guide to the Collections (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1945), pp. 34 (ill.), 35.

Lionello Venturi, Pittori Moderni (Florence: Edizioni U, 1946), pp. 157, 160–161, fig. 147.

Lionello Venturi, Modern Painters (New York: Scribner, 1947), pp. 214–16, fig. 149.

Hans Naef, Courbet (Berne: A. Scherz, 1947), pl. 31.

Pierre Courthion, Courbet raconté par lui-même et par ses amis, vol. 1 (Geneva: Pierre Cailler, 1948), p. 58.

Gerstle Mack, Gustave Courbet (New York: Knopf, 1951), pp. 59–61, 298, pl. 28.

Aline B. Loucheim, “A New Yorker Visits the Art Institute of Chicago,” The Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly 46, 2 (1952), pp. 23, 40 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Guide to the Collections (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1956), pp. 32 (ill.), 33.

Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1961), pp. 107, 242 (ill.).

John W. McCoubrey, American Tradition in Painting (New York: George Braziller, 1963), pp. 37–38, pl. 37; revised edition (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000), pp. 34–35, pl. 37.

Bruce K. MacDonald, “The Quarry by Gustave Courbet,” Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 67, 348 (1969), p. 69, n. 17.

M.-G. de La Coste-Messelière, “Un jeune prince amateur d’impressionnistes et chauffeur,” L’Œil 179 (1969), p. 19.

Robert Fernier, Gustave Courbet: peintre de l’art vivant (Paris: La Bibliothèque des arts, 1969), pp. 82–83, no. 75 (ill.). séance

John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago (New York: H. N. Abrams, 1970; repr. 1977), pp. 74 (ill.), 75.

André Fermigier, Courbet (Geneva: Skira, 1971), pp. 31, 34, 69, 71 (ill.).

Jack Lindsay, Gustave Courbet: His Life and Art (New York: Harper & Row, 1973), pp. 43–44.

Alexandre Schanne, “Courbet’s Entourage,” in Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu, Courbet in Perspective (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1977), pp. 27–28, fig. 16.

Robert Fernier, La vie et l’œuvre de Gustave Courbet: catalogue raisonné, vol. 1 (Lausanne: Bibliothèque des arts, 1977), pp. 104–105, cat. 167 (ill.).

Art Institute of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago: 100 Masterpieces (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1978), p. 82, no. 40 (ill.).

John D. Morse, Old Master Paintings in North America (New York: Abbeville Press, 1979), p. 70.

Hélène Toussaint, “Le réalisme de Courbet au service de la satire politique et de la propagande gouvernementale,” Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire de l’art français (1979), pp. 233–34 (ill.), 235–39.

Robert L. Herbert, “Courbet’s Mère Grégoire and Béranger,” Malerei und Theorie das Courbet-Colloquium 1979 (Frankfurt am Main: Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, 1980), pp. 75–89.

Hélène Toussaint, “Le realism de Courbet au service de la satire politique et de la propaganda gouvernementale,” Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire de l’Art français, 1979 (1981), pp. 233, fig. 1.

Pierre Courthion, L’opera completa di Courbet (Milan: Rizzoli, 1985), p. 82, no. 162, ill.

Richard R. Brettell, French Salon Artists, 1800–1900 (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1987), pp. 30 (ill.), 31, 117.

Robert L. Herbert, “Courbet’s Mère Grégoire and Béranger,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 13, 1 (1987), pp. 25–26, 27–35, figs. 1–3, 5.

James N. Wood and Katharine C. Lee, Master Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 1988), pp. 53 (ill.), 166.

Klaus Herding, “Courbet Reconsidered. Brooklyn and Minneapolis,” Burlington Magazine 131 (1989), p. 244.

Sarah Faunce, Gustave Courbet (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1993), pp. 80–81, no. 17 (ill.).

André Fermigier, Courbet (Geneva: Skira, 1994), p. 58, 118.

Pierre Courthion, Tout l’œuvre peint de Courbet (Paris: Flammarion, 1987; repr. 1995), p. 82, cat. 162 (ill.).

Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu, Correspondance de Courbet (Paris: Flammarion, 1996), p. 439, letter 73-28; p. 462, letter 74-3.

James H. Rubin, Courbet (London: Phaidon, 1997), pp. 181, fig. 109.

“Gustave Courbet – La Mère Grégoire” in Therese Southgate, The Art of JAMA: One Hundred Covers and Essays from the Journal of the American Medical Association (St. Louis: Mosby, 1997), pp. 142–43 (ill.), 211–12.

Robert L. Herbert, From Millet to Léger (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002), pp. 67–78, figs. 24, 26.

Valérie Bajou, Courbet (Paris: A. Biro, 2003), pp. 319, 320 (ill.), 418 n. 45.

Ségolène Le Men, Courbet, (Paris: Citadelles & Mazenod, 2007), pp. 11, 112, 116, 294, 350, 363, fig. 90; translated (New York and London: Abbeville Press Publishers, 2008).

Ownership History

Possession of the artist [for this and the following until 1873 see Riat 1906 and Fernier 1977]; stolen between 1872–73; found by Étienne Baudry at an art dealer in Paris, 1873. Galerie Barbzanges, Paris, by 1912 [lent to Saint Petersburg 1912]. Possibly Alexandre Louis Philippe Marie Berthier, 4th Prince of Wagram (died 1918), Paris [according to Art Institute of Chicago 1961 and Fernier 1977]; possibly at his death to his sister, Elisabeth de la Tour d’Auvergne (née Elisabeth Bertier de Wagram), Paris (according to Art Institute of Chicago 1961 and Fernier 1977). Alex Reid & Lefèvre, Ltd., London, by 1929 [according to the receipt of sale to the Art Institute, dated November 20, 1929]; purchased by the Art Institute, 1929; accessioned 1930.