48. Portrait of Madame Robin, called The Grandmother
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (William Hood Dunwoody fund)
Signed and dated lower left: 62 G. Courbet.
92 x 73 cm.
In this gentle and touching portrait, with the figure of Madame Robin taking up a large area of the picture surface, Courbet gave his sitter an imposing presence by placing her head so high up the canvas. A neutral background and simple triangular composition endow the figure with weight and emphasis, while subtle details, such as the soft fabrics and delicate laces, evoke the age and vulnerability of the woman. This portrait was painted in repayment of a loan dating from Courbet's student days.