A thundering wave rolls directly towards the viewer, threatening to carry him off into the turbulent sea. Courbet painted this natural spectacle during stormy weather on the coast of Normandy some sixty times. Executed between 1865 and 1870, the series already sparked the attention of his contemporaries. In addition to the delicate palette, they were fascinated above all by the symbolic import of the wave paintings. Nature unleashed is not only a metaphor for the struggle of life. For Courbet, the wave signified violence and destruction, but also creation and renewal.
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