Gustave Courbet “The Return from the Conference” / anonymous Catholic 
 (In 1909, this work - a depiction of drunken priests stumbling down a country road- was bought and destroyed by a private citizen who, as a strict Catholic, considered the work anti-clerical. 
 Interestingly, this was precisely the sort of reaction the artist had hoped for. Courbet created the work for the expressed purpose of being refused entry into the 1863 Paris Salon, which he felt would bring him some useful notoriety. Things went according to plan: while the painting was indeed rejected on the grounds of its being “an outrage on religious morality,” and was even denied a spot in the Salon des Refusés, the resulting controversy garnered the artist a great deal of attention. Said Courbet: “I painted the picture so that it would be refused. I have succeeded. That way it will bring me some money.”)

Gustave Courbet “The Return from the Conference” / anonymous Catholic

(In 1909, this work - a depiction of drunken priests stumbling down a country road- was bought and destroyed by a private citizen who, as a strict Catholic, considered the work anti-clerical.

Interestingly, this was precisely the sort of reaction the artist had hoped for. Courbet created the work for the expressed purpose of being refused entry into the 1863 Paris Salon, which he felt would bring him some useful notoriety. Things went according to plan: while the painting was indeed rejected on the grounds of its being “an outrage on religious morality,” and was even denied a spot in the Salon des Refusés, the resulting controversy garnered the artist a great deal of attention. Said Courbet: “I painted the picture so that it would be refused. I have succeeded. That way it will bring me some money.”)

Christopher Schreck