Tuesday, August 13, 2013


It was only a matter of time that public opinion would alter the power that Parisian Salons held in determining who was 'in' or 'out' in the world of art. In 1863, nearly half of all submissions were promptly rejected by the official Salon. This did not sit lightly with the art community nor the public, and in a bold response, Napoleon III created Le Salon des Refusés (Exhibition of Rejects). 

Included in the 1863 exhibition were 3 paintings by Edouard Manet.

Listed as item 363. Le Bain (The Bath), Manet's largest painting of the three submitted attracted immediate attention and criticism.  Otherwise known as Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe (Luncheon on the Grass), the primary offense was the subject matter: a nude woman enjoying a picnic with two clothed men, while another scantily clad female bathes in the distance. Aside from the depiction of modern debauchery, the flat application of color, the lack of perspective, the unusual and awkward depth of field was thought to be subversive contempt for the Academic standards of the time. 

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