In 1846, Courbet created Self Portrait The Man With A Pipe and took him as the theme. This painting was full of inspiration with the dark red background, gray coat, gray green shades of white shirts, black hair and beard, and a reddish face with olive shade. This face was painted as strong as that of Titian. Round shoulders and facial soft feelings were portrayed very elegant. This elegant feeling also spread that deep tone and highlight in the dark background, making this "proud, naughty, fantastic and intoxicated" face covered with a comfortable and happy feeling. The imagination of modeling was the foundation of painting treatment; the leisure attitude in a realistic way highlighted the romantic fantasy look. In this self-portrait, Courbet's self appreciation had been perfectly embodied.
According to the French art historian Francastel, Courbet looked outstanding and talented. He was the son of a vineyard owner which lived in northern French Franche—Tai mountain. He always persisted in his old ways and looked very confident. When he was young, he was aggressive and easy-going. Such complex personality was not contradictory. When he laughed, he made people feel warm. But once he was stuck up, the tone of his voice made his best friend feel cold. What kind of artist is he? This painting gave us the image of the enlightenment. Before 36 years old, Courbet seemed to be immature in art. In his several portraits paintings, he sometimes showed a self-pitying state. He looked at the mirror and cogitated in thinking, representing very elegant life and temperament. Self Portrait The Man With A Pipe was his best representative painting. In this painting, Courbet used very simple colors. There was a drunk and crazy person in the painting showing tolerance and self respect. Some people said he "happily drew himself and intoxicated himself in the painting" (the French critic Silvestre commented). Although this was a critic, it was the truth for the painter. Indeed, from this self-portrait, a viewer could feel the pride of Courbet, and this was determined by the firm belief that Courbet dared to choose his own art road.