Gustave Courbet, Bonjour Monsieur Courbet, 1854

Also known as ‘The Meeting,’ this painting features the artist himself (the one with the painting equipment in his back) being greeted in Montpelier by his most important patron, the well-dressed Alfred Bruyas in the center and his manservant on the left. This was not an actual event, but one conjured by the artist to commemorate their budding relationship, both friendly and in business, with the patron. This relationship, like all artists know, is an important one, but also a very complicated one. Courbet obviously saw the tremendous importance of Bruyas to advance his career, due to his high social status and his influence in this era. Bruyas had purchased Coubet’s ‘The Bathers’ and ‘The Sleeping Spinner’ the year before at the Salon of 1853.

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