View of Frankfurt am Main from Sachsenhausen, with the Old Bridge
Oil on canvas
Inv. No. SG 1140
54 × 78 cm
For the young Courbet, Frankfurt was one stop along the road to recognition. Even before exhibiting his work in Paris, he showed it here and worked at the Städel School. His brand of Realism, his earthy palette and eye for the common folk greatly influenced his younger German contemporaries, who overcame the pathos of history painting and the veneration of the medieval aesthetic through his example. This development is mirrored in our view of the historical city centre. Painters before and after Courbet looked from the west, across the labyrinthine old town and the harbour to the cathedral rising up on the bank. His gaze leads over the framework of the Old Bridge to a distant cityscape.
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