The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade That Gave the World Impressionism
While the Civil War raged in America, another revolution took shape across the Atlantic, in the studios of Paris: The artists who would make Impressionism the most popular art form in history were showing their first paintings amidst scorn and derision from the French artistic establishment. Indeed, no artistic movement has ever been quite so controversial. The drama of its birth, played out on canvas and against the backdrop of the Franco-Prussian War and the Commune, would at times resemble a battlefield; and as Ross King reveals, it would reorder both history and culture, and resonate around the world.
make ends meet), Chintreuil wished neither to repeat the unpleasant experience nor see the younger generation share it. Therefore, with his friend Jean Desbrosses, another member of the Septeuil group, he formed a committee of eight men, the Comité de salut des refusés, to assist the rejected artists. The center of their operations was the studio of Jean Desbrosses in the Rue de Seine—ironically, just around the corner from the Institut de France. One of the Committee's first tasks was to prepare
Refusés—would not actually have a vote. The Selection Committee would be elected, rather, by an élite of artists who had been rewarded for their efforts by previous Selection Committees—a group that the progressive critic Jules-Antoine Castagnary denounced as "an intolerant and jealous aristocracy."15 There was therefore no guarantee that the jury for 1864 would be any less narrowminded than that for 1863. In the Selection Committee no less than in the elections for the Legislative Assembly, the
had been inflated with 90,000 cubic feet of hydrogen, but Nadar's real-life balloon managed to outstrip even Verne's exuberant imagination. Christened Le Géant, it was borne aloft by 200,000 cubic feet of hydrogen, stood 180 feet tall, and used almost twelve miles of silk that two hundred women had required an entire month to sew together. Included in the wicker-work gondola, which was the size of a small cottage, were a photographic laboratory, a refreshment room, a lavatory and, for the
bourgeois, sullen, fault-finding, thrifty, and incapable of understanding an artist."22 If the newly married couple appeared to be dogged by problems with their in-laws, one person at least envied Manet his relationship. The raddled Baudelaire, who had neither met Suzanne nor even known of her existence, was surprised to learn of the wedding. Manet seems to have kept his domestic life a secret, for some reason, from even his closest friends. "Manet came round to tell me the most unexpected
actually older than many of the other buildings in the enclosure, including the Grande Maison itself. Meissonier once again hired an architect and set about remodeling and extending the structure such that its rows of dormer windows and alternating bands of pink and white brickwork would nicely complement his own residence. Meissonier also designed, for the rear of the Nouvelle Maison, a glass-walled studio in which his son could paint. Charles was training to become an artist like his father.