The Stone Breakers

The Stone Breakers by Gustave Courbet

The Stone Breakers by Gustave Courbet was produced in 1849 and is considered to be one of the famous artworks of Realism movement. The work can be viewed now at Gemaldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden


Medium: Oil Painting 

Subject(s): conscience, poverty, village


The Stone Breakers is an oil painting produced between 1849 and 1850 by French painter Gustave Courbet.

This painting was exhibited the same year 1850 at the Paris Salon.

As the name suggest, this painting depicts two peasants working to build a road by breaking rocks. The Communist Manifesto pamphlet written by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1849 influenced Gustave Courbet to paint this famous work  – The Stone Breakers. Gustav was very concerned for the poor and struggles they follow. Among the two figures, one old and one young, both are peasants work as a labor breaking several stones and then clearing the road. During thos time, such difficult work had given to labors was considers as a punishment for criminals compared to today’s world people work on Jackhammers and Bulldozers.

This picture was destroyed with several other painting 154 during an ongoing conflict of Second World War. In 1945, a vehicle taking all these painting to castle of Konigstein, near Dresden was bombed during the transportation. Allied forces were responsible for this attack in February.

A similar work can be viewed at Gemaldegalerie, Dresden


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