French Realism Painter
Courbet, along with Daumier and Millet, founded the Realism movement in which real life (seen firsthand, by the artist) was the only valid subject matter. Though he came from a prosperous farming family, Courbet felt a peasant-like manner was more in keeping with his Republican political views and became a rather rough-looking firebrand. After his "Realism" show in 1855, he gained more financial backing, but continued to preach equality. He, in fact, did some prison time for his politics.
Birth: June 10, 1819, Ornans, Franche-Comte, France
Death: December 31, 1877, La Tour-de-Peilz (near Vevey), Switzerland
Gustave Courbet and his paintings in Wikipedia
Gustave Courbet and his art in WebMuseum