Trivium Art HistoryGustave Courbet

Jo - The Beautiful Irish Girl

Jo - The Beautiful Irish Girl, 1866 — Gustave Courbet,
55.9 cm66 cm

The "beautiful Irishwoman" depicted in this painting is Joanna Hiffernan, at the age of 22 — the mistress and model of the artist James McNeill Whistler, and perhaps subsequently Courbet’s lover. Although dated 1866, the picture was likely undertaken in 1865, when the two men painted together at the French seaside resort of Trouville; Courbet wrote of "the beauty of a superb redhead whose portrait I have begun." He would paint three repetitions with minor variations.

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