Mother Gregoire, by Courbet (1855)

Mother Gregoire, by Courbet (1855)


Mother Gregoire, by Courbet (1855)


Courbet, Gustav




Description of painting by the Art Institute of Chicago: "Mère Grégoire is a character from a popular song written in 1820 by French lyricist Pierre Jean Béranger. As described by Béranger, she was the portly proprietress of a Parisian brothel. In this painting Courbet represented the madame behind a counter, negotiating with an unseen client. With one hand, she offers a tri-colored flower, a symbol of love and possibly an allusion to French Republican politics. (The red, white, and blue of the flower match the colors of the French flag.) Her other hand, open and expectant of payment, rests on a ledger. The madame will sell the “flower” for money and then ring the small bell to call over a female companion for the client."


Oil on canvas. 129 x 97.5 cm.


Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Il, USA Found March 7, 2017 on

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