Woman in a Riding Habit (L'Amazone) Gustave Courbet Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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This is portrait by a French artist named Gustave Courbet who worked in between 1819-1877 during a La Tour-de-Peilz. The painting of the Woman in a Riding Habit was painted in 1856 and the medium is oil on canvas.

It has dimensions of 115.6 cm by 89.2 cm. The portrait's credit line is H.O Havemeyer Collection and Bequest of Mrs. H. O Havemeyer in 1929.

Description of the Woman in a Riding Habit

This is a painting of a horsewoman who is known as amazon in French was well-thought by the artist, Gustave Courbet. It represents the famous poet and novelist Louise Colet. However, the sitter was later identified as Madame Clement Laurier and this specific art work was made In 1856 during her marriage and it forms a pair with a painting of her husband by Gustave Courbet. This painting has been admired as the one of the "finest woman's portrait by Courbet".

The woman in the portrait was identified as a painter in art and this is because the riding crop she holds in the paint looks like the shape of a paintbrush held upside down. The brush is a brownish red, and the thumb on the other hand is separated from the other fingers just in a similar way how a painter's thumb is separated. This can be referred as symbolism and it goes back to the Renaissance, "Tititan's Man with a Glove".

In Paris, women who rode alone were referred to as Amazons, and that is the reason for this painting’s title (L’Amazone). It is a convincingly bi-gendered term that Gustave could connect to the work of his creative mind. The woman’s far hand looks white like a ghost and it appears as if it is from nowhere. The origin of this hand is a dark vaginal shape that is in her habit and this can be linked to the mystery of a woman’s womb and the painting’s conception.

This woman can therefore be identified as an artist through the androgyny of the name, Amazone, the connection between the painting brush and the colour of Gustave’s signature. Apart from that the gesture of the Amazone’s hand and the equestrian activity send such a strong message about who she is.

Similar Paintings

Here is a list of other paintings that are closely related to the painting of the Woman in a Riding Habit:

  • Portrait of Mademoiselle Jacquet Art Print by Gustave Courbet
  • The Woman with the Pearl Wall Art by Jean-Baptise-Camille Corot
  • Self Portrait (L'Homme a la Ceinture de Cuir)
  • The Sleepwalker Art Print by Gustave Courbet
  • Hamlet et Ophelie by Eugene Delacroix