Olympia: Paris in the Age of Manet
This volume provides an account of the art and politics during the Second French Empire, from 1852 to 1870, during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte. Paris during the reign of Napoleon was a fascinating period, filled with accounts of frivolity, eccentricity, and scandal, and its figures were larger than life: Napoleon himself, Eugenie, Berlioz, Wagner, Hugo, Zola, Manet, Monet and the "great horizontals". Americans, English, Germans, Italians and Russians went to Paris for culture, art and, a bit of undisciplined hedonism. The author presents this period with an eye on the "Olympia", a painting by Édouard Manet that caused shock and astonishment when it was first exhibited in Paris in 1865. Along with analysis of Manet's paintings, the author relates the story of impressionism and the community of artists Manet inspired.
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