The picture of the Sleepers that Courbet created in 1866 gives us a brief overview of the culture of lesbianism in the 19th century and how it was treated. Using tools such as sculptures, artists such as Courbet were bold enough to publicly portray homosexuality in the media. He was also bold enough through his art to freely identify Realism and Naturalism. As it will be seen, other than the much talked about Sleepers image, Courbet painted different erotic nude scenes. The Sleepers image, made him fall out with Whistler, who was devastated with Courbet’s work because one of the lesbian lady represented in Courbet’s painting was Whistler’s girlfriend. Besides the criticism Courbet received, he was able to rise and become one of the best painters in time.
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