Jo, the Beautiful Irish Girl
  • Jo, the Beautiful Irish Girl

    TitleJo, the Beautiful Irish Girl
  • Technique/ MaterialOil on canvas
  • DimensionsDimensions: (h x b) 54 x 65 cm
    Frame: (h x b x dj) 79 x 89 x 10 cm
  • DatingSigned 1866
  • Artist/Maker Artist: Gustave Courbet, French, born 1819, dead 1877
  • CategoryPaintings, Paintings
  • Classificationpainting
  • Inventory No.NM 2543
  • AcquisitionGift 1926 Nationalmusei Vänner
  • Description
    Images and media

    This image is of Joanna Heffernan, who was Courbet’s model and mistress. Female models had low status, being viewed as little more than a commodity and the property of the male artists. When “Jo” examined herself in the mirror, it was a vital act, as she was entirely dependent on her appearance to make a living. In the consumer culture of today, women are defined by their appearance, as objects, not allowed to age and controlled by their weight.