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The Judgement of Paris: The Origins of Impressionism

Afternoon Lecture/Seminar

Friday, October 7, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0732
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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The Railway by Édouard Manet, 1873 (cropped)

Impressionism was born in Paris in the 1860s through a great rivalry between the painters Édouard Manet and Ernest Meissonier, known as "the two poles of art." Meissonier was the most famous and financially successful painter of the 19th century, hailed for his meticulous precision and obsessive attention to historical detail. Manet, on the other hand, was reviled by the critics and mocked by the public for works such as Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe and Olympia.

The contest between the two men transcended artistic expression—it reflected competing viewpoints on the changes being wrought by technology, politics, and personal freedom. Ross King, author of The Judgement of Paris, explores the relationship between these two artists as he evokes Parisian life during a 10-year period of social and political ferment. The struggle between Meissonier and Manet to get their paintings exhibited in pride of place at the Salon was not just about art: It was about how to see the world.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.