Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bread and Wine
16 x 20 Oil on Linen

The Paris Salon exhibitions were so large they had to be organized alphabetically. Artists whose names began with A were in the first room, B in the second room and so on. Manet was in the same room with his friends Monet and Berthe Morisot, with Jean-Fran├žois Millet, known for his paintings of peasant scenes, Gustave Moreau, who painted religious and mythological themes, and Meissonier. Ernest Meissonier was arguably the most popular and highest paid artist of his time. His genre scenes and history pieces drew large crowds who stared breathlessly at those meticulous paintings. His historically accurate and exquisitely detailed works drew the highest praise from the critics. Manet’s paintings, by contrast, were mocked. Meissonier won medals, Manet was rewarded with ridicule. Meissonier was applauded, Manet was laughed at. This went on year after year, Salon after Salon. Meissonier’s funeral was attended by state dignitaries, Manet was buried by a few friends. The tide quickly turned however. In less than a generation Meissonier’s paintings were being mocked and laughed at and ridiculed. He is now nearly forgotten and Manet has come to be known as one of the fathers of modern art.....

1 comment:

the art of the dance is like chocolate said...

beautiful work! very interesting commentary - thanks for sharing!