The Empty Bottle, Théodule Ribot
Théodule Ribot
The Empty Bottle
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Théodule Ribot

The Empty Bottle, ca. 1876 – 1881

74.2 x 93.2 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
Acquired in 2015 with means provided by the Werner Wirthle bequest
Not on display


About the Work

Half-naked and unnaturally contorted, the figure of a drunken man lies on the floor. His grotesque face stares at the viewer, his arm wearily clutching the empty bottle of wine. The dramatic dark-light contrast testifies to Ribot’s stylistic leaning towards examples of Baroque painting, whereas the noticeably crude application of paint is radically modern. Almost abstract is the markedly flat brushstroke that glaringly stands out from the upper middle of the picture space. With such daring compositions, Ribot became, along with his contemporary Gustave Courbet, an important exponent of French Realism.

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