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May/Jun 2009

Édouard Manet’s Le Repos

Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2009;11(3):216-217. doi:10.1001/archfacial.2009.19

Édouard Manet (1832-1883) is often known as the father of Impressionism. Although he did not exhibit with the Impressionists at their infamous shows, his ideas and style are a distinct turning point in the evolution of art. Following the French Revolution of 1848 (which ended the reign of King Louis-Philippe), the hierarchy in painting began to change as the need to produce a historical work (painting in its highest form depicted a historical scene) declined. It was during this period that artists turned to painting more of what they saw around them. More genre paintings were admitted to the Salon (the official exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, the venue where all serious art was submitted to be critiqued and admired). These genre paintings depicted real life and, more importantly, modern life. Along with genre painting, portrait painting was also becoming more appreciated by art critics and visitors to the Salon. Jules-Antoine Castagnary,1(p245)a famous art critic in the mid 19th century, is quoted as having said, “With a single portrait of Clouet, Holbein, Van Dyke, Titian, Rigaud, David, you can reconstruct, with the person who served as model, the entire epoch when that person lived.”