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1854-1855, Gustave Courbet

The Wheat Sifters is an example of the simple realism that Courbet used in his work. Unlike paintings in the Romantic style, this painting does not employ perfection of line and form. It instead illustrates the unclean walls, bored look on the face of the laying woman, and the disheveled hair of the curious boy. As Courbet used actual figures for his paintings, it is said that the two women in the painting are his two sisters Zoe and Juliet, and the boy is actually his illegitimate son, Desire Binet. It was first exhibited in 1855 at the Salon of Paris, and later in 1861, when it was purchased for the Musee des Beaux-Arts of Nantes.

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