Gustave Courbet Quote
In spite of being assailed by hypochondria, I have launched into an enormous painting 20 feet by 12, perhaps even bigger than 'The Burial', which will show that I am still alive, and so is Realism, as Realism exists... It is society at its best, its worst, its average. In short, it's my way of seeing society with all its interests and passions. It's the whole world coming to me to be painted..
In a letter of Courbet to his friend Champfleury, (Autumn 1854); as quoted in 'Courbet Speaks', 'Courbet-dossier', Musée-dOrsay