Paint records the most delicate gesture and the most tense. It tells whether the painter sat or stood or crouched in front of the canvas. Paint is a cast made of the painter's movements, a portrait of the painter's body and thoughts. The muddy moods of oil paints are the painter's muddy humors, and its brilliant transformations are the painter's unexpected discoveries. Painting is an unspoken and largely uncognized dialogue where paint speaks silently in masses and colors and the artist responds in moods.
Now compare the Violincellist with all its muddy moods and unexpected brilliance to this other Courbet in the European gallery, Autumn.