Camille Pissarro. Avenue de l’Opéra, Sunlight, Winter Morning . ca. 1880. 28-3/4" × 35-7/8”.
Map: The grands boulevards of Paris.
Who was George Sand? Even before the revolution of 1848, French intellectuals had begun attacking the bourgeois lifestyle. George Sand, born Aurore-Lucile Dupin, was concerned particularly with the position of women in French society. Why was Sand labeled an “idealist”? How do characters like Pulchérie in the novel Lélia challenge Sand’s idealism? How did poet Charles Baudelaire initiate modernism? While his Salon of 1846 was an ironic plea to the bourgeoisie to value art, the poet Charles Baudelaire was certain that they would ignore him. In his poems, he sought to shock them, using imagery that ranged from exotic sexuality to the grim reality of death in the modern city. How did he define the ideal painter of modern life? Baudelaire styled himself a flâneur . What is a flâneur ?
Gustave Caillebotte. Paris Street, Rainy Day . 1877. 83-1/2" × 108-3/4”.
Thomas Couture. Portrait George Sand . 1859. 24" × 15-3/4”.
Thomas Couture. Romans during the Decadence of the Empire . 1847. 15’ 5-3/4" × 25’ 3-7/8”.
How did poet Charles Baudelaire initiate modernism? While his Salon of 1846 was an ironic plea to the bourgeoisie to value art, the poet Charles Baudelaire was certain that they would ignore him. In his poems, he sought to shock them, using imagery that ranged from exotic sexuality to the grim reality of death in the modern city. How did he define the ideal painter of modern life? Baudelaire styled himself a flâneur . What is a flâneur ? What made painter Édouard Manet so notorious? Manet was Baudelaire’s “Painter of Modern Life.” Why did depictions of women in his paintings of the 1860s, particularly Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe and Olympia , shock his bourgeois audience?
Édouard Manet. Baudelaire’s Mistress Reclining (Study of Jeanne Duval) . ca. 1862. 35-3/8" × 44-1/2”.
Édouard Manet. Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) . 1863.
Marcantonio Raimondi, after Raphael. The Judgment of Paris . After Raphael's lost painting. ca. 1520.
How would you define Émile Zola’s naturalism? On what grounds did the novelist Émile Zola champion Manet’s paintings? He believed that all human beings are products of hereditary and environmental factors over which they have no control but which determine their lives. How does his naturalism differ from realism? How would you say his vision differs from George Sand’s? What new directions in opera developed in the mid-nineteenth century? In music, the nationalist tendencies of the era played themselves out in the Paris opera. Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto and other works by him came to symbolize Italian nationalism, and the Parisian Jockey Club ostracized the German composer Richard Wagner on nationalist grounds when he tried to produce his opera Tannhäuser . What did the Jockey Club object to in particular about Wagner’s work? What new genre did Wagner believe he had invented? Wagner shifted the melodic element from the voice to the orchestra and organized his opera dramas around the leitmotif. What is a leitmotif? He also believed that he might create a Gesamtkunstwerk . What is a Gesamkunstwerk ? What work did he believe realized his dream and why? The Opéra Comique was, however, the most popular form of opera in Paris and the composer Jacques Offenbach its most popular artist. How would you characterize Offenbach’s opera?
Titian. Closer Look: Manet's Olympia: Reclining Nude (Venus of Urbino) . ca. 1538. 47" × 65”.
Édouard Manet. Closer Look: Manet's Olympia: Olympia . Salon of 1865. 1863. 51" × 74-3/4”.
Alexandre Cabanel. Closer Look: Manet's Olympia: The Birth of Venus . Salon of 1863. 1863. 52" × 90”.
Édouard Manet. Portrait of Émile Zola . 1868. 56-5/8" × 44-7/8”.
Charles Garnier. The Opéra, Paris: Façade. 1860-75.
Édouard Detaille. Inauguration of the Paris Opera House, January 5, 1875: Arrival of Lord Maire (with entourage) from London, Greeted by Charles Garnier . 1875.
Verdi's Rigoletto : The Quartet from Act III. ca. 1851.
André Gill. Caricature of Richard Wagner in L’Éclipse, Paris, April 18, 1869. 1869. 18" × 12”.
Richard Wagner. Musical Notation: Tristan und Isolde: Prelude.
George Sand: Politics and the Female VoiceWho was George Sand?• Over the course of her career, Sand wrote over 100 volumes of prose –fiction, travel books, essays, plays, and a 10-volume autobiography.Her chief subject was relations between the sexes. In her own time,Sand’s novels were classified as “idealist,” as opposed to the “realist”novels of others.• Leila — Sand’s central character in this novel is a courtesan/prostitute.This novel can be read as a sort of moral allegory of the impossibleposition of women in mid-nineteenth-century French culture, and as acondemnation of French culture as a whole.
Charles Baudelaire and the Poetry of Modern LifeHow did poet Charles Baudelaire initiate modernism? What madepainter Edouard Manet so notorious?• Baudelaire recognized the bourgeoisie as his audience, but theirhypocrisy was his constant target. His poetry was attacked for itsunconventional themes and subject matter, chosen to shock bourgeoisminds. He was charged with violating good morals in his book LesFleurs du mal; he was fined and forced to remove six poemsconcerning lesbianism and vampirism.• Edouard Manet: The Painter of Modern Life — Manet mostclearly embodies the new vision of the artist as a recorder of city life.His painting, Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe was rejected by the jury for theSalon of 1863. It was not designed to please them. Manet’s paintingevokes the fetes galantes of Watteau.
Emile Zola and the Naturalist NovelHow would you define Emile Zola’s naturalism? What newdirections in opera developed in the mid-nineteenth century?• Emile Zola — This author defends Manet’s Olympia in his book,Edouard Manet where he observes that Manet painted “in a way whichis contrary to the sacred rules taught in schools.” He practiced a brandof literary realism called naturalism. Zola believed that all humanbeings are products of hereditary and environmental factors over whichthey have no control.• Nationalism and the Politics of Opera — The confrontationbetween bourgeois taste and the avant-garde came at the opera. Thenew Paris Opera, designed by Charles Garnier, has a façade thatmarries the Neoclassical and the Baroque. The most creativecomposers of the period composed operas. Verdi believed that operashould be dramatically realistic. Wagner declared that his music was“the art of the future.” Comic opera was widely popular and the mostadmired of those writing in this style was Jacques Offenbach.• Discussion Question: What is and was the appeal of opera as a genre?
Closer Look: Édouard Manet, OlympiaMyArtsLabChapter 30 – In Pursuit of Modernity: Paris in the 1850s and 1860s