Courbets paintings of the late 1840s and early 1850s brought him his first recognition. They challenged convention by depicting unidealized peasants and workers, often on a grand scale traditionally reserved for paintings of religious or historical subjects. Courbets subsequent paintings were mostly of a less overtly political character: landscapes, seascapes, hunting scenes, nudes and still lifes. An active socialist, Courbet was active in the political developments of France. He was imprisoned for six months in 1871 for his involvement with the Paris Commune, and lived in exile in Switzerland from 1873 until his death.