Gustave Courbet's work “Stone crushers” tells of the deep poverty that can be found on the way out of town. The artist himself said that he was returning from a trip when he saw these two.
Only adversity can make a person do this. Being a lover of the most unexpected way for her canvases, Courbet had the idea to draw them. Making an appointment in his studio, he set about painting.
Unfortunately, the original picture was not preserved, since it was destroyed during the Second World War. Being in one of the galleries of the city of Dresden, which was subjected to massive bombardment, the picture turned to dust.
The first one of the characters that catches your eye is an old man in a wide-brimmed hat. Engaged in the construction of a road that requires material, he crushes large cobbles into small stones with his hammer. From under the hat you can see what this work leads to. Skinny cheeks, a sharp nose and an unhealthy skin color. His boots have holes from which naked heels peek out.
After grinding another cobblestone, the old man gives his remains to a young worker - the second character in the picture. Even more work awaits him - to bring a basket with stones to the road under construction. He does not have a cart or any other device to transport the goods. It remains only to drag one heavy basket after another. His attire is not much different from the old man. Torn rags expose his thin tanned body. Next to the young man are already torn baskets. This once again emphasizes how hard the work of these two is.
The meaning of the picture was as follows - those who begin this way also finish. This is exactly what the artist said when he demonstrated his brilliant creation.
End of Winter Midday