Letter from Courbet to Bruyas, December 1854:
"When I got back to Ornans, I spent a few days hunting. I quite like the subject of violent exercise [...] It makes the most surprising painting you can imagine. There are thirty life-size figures in it. It is the moral and physical history of my studio".
Letter from Gustave Courbet to his parents, 30th April 1870:
"Here I am, because of the People of Paris, up to my neck in politics. President of the Federation of Artists, member of the Commune committee, city council delegate and delegate for Public Education: the four most important posts in Paris. I get up, I have breakfast, and I preside and sit on committees twelve hours a day. Now my head is starting to spin. But in spite of all this worry and trying to understand unfamiliar things, I am really happy"