Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



1800 - 1899
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
  BACK-1876 Part I NEXT-1876 Part III    
An Unfortunate Experiment
1870 - 1879
History at a Glance
1870 Part I
Alfonso XII
Leopold of Hohenzollern
"Ems Telegram"
Franco-Prussian War
Lenin Vladimir
Vladimir Lenin
Smuts Jan
1870 Part II
Adler Alfred
Keble College
Papal infallibility
Ludwig Anzengruber: "Der Pfarrer von Kirchfeld"
Bunin Ivan
Disraeli: "Lothair"
Kuprin Aleksandr
Ivan Goncharov: "The Precipice"
Jules Verne: "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea"
1870 Part III
Barlach Ernst
Ernst Barlach
Corot: "La perle"
Dante Gabriel Rossetti: "Beata Beatrix"
Borisov-Musatov Victor
Victor Borisov-Musatov
Benois Alexandre
Alexandre Benois
Denis Maurice
Maurice Denis
Soldiers and Exiles
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Delibes: "Coppelia"
Tchaikovsky: "Romeo and Juliet"
Wagner: "Die Walkure"
Lehar Franz
Franz Lehar - Medley
Franz Lehar
Balfe Michael
Michael Balfe - "The Bohemian Girl"
1870 Part IV
Przhevalsky Nikolai
Peaks and Plateaus
Johnson Allen
Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
Luxemburg Rosa
Standard Oil Company
Lauder Harry
Lloyd Marie
1871 Part I
Siege of Paris
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Frankfurt
Paris Commune
Treaty of Washington
Law of Guarantees
British North America Act, 1871
Ebert Friedrich
1871 Part II
Old Catholics
Charles Darwin: "The Descent of Man"
Jehovah's Witnesses
Russell Charles Taze
John Ruskin: "Fors Clavigera"
Lewis Carroll: "Through the Looking Glass"
Crane Stephen
Dreiser Theodore
George Eliot: "Middlemarch"
Mann Heinrich
Morgenstern Christian
Ostrovsky: "The Forest"
Proust Marcel
Valery Paul
Zola: "Les Rougon-Macquart"
1871 Part III
Gabriele Rossetti: "The Dream of Dante"
White Clarence
History of photography
Clarence White
Rouault Georges
Georges Rouault
Feininger Lyonel
Lyonel Feininger
Balla Giacomo
Giacomo Balla
Sloan John
John Sloan
The 'Terror'of the Commune
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Royal Albert Hall
"The Internationale"
Verdi: "Aida"
1871 Part IV
Schweinfurth Georg August
Quotations by Georg August Schweinfurth
Stanley Henry
Henry Morton Stanley
Further Exploration of the Nile
Heinrich Schliemann begins to excavate Troy
Ingersoll Simon
Rutherford Ernest
The Industrialization of War
The Industrialization of War
Bank Holiday
Great Chicago Fire
1872 Part I
Third Carlist War
Carlist Wars
Burgers Thomas Francois
Ballot Act 1872
Amnesty Act of 1872
Blum Leon
Coolidge Calvin
1872 Part II
Russell Bertrand
Klages Ludwig
Beerbohm Max
Samuel Butler: "Erewhon, or Over the Range"
Alphonse Daudet: "Aventures prodigieuses de Tartarin de Tarascon"
Alphonse Daudet
"Tartarin de Tarascon"
Diaghilev Sergei
Duse Eleonora
Thomas Hardy: "Under the Greenwood Tree"
Turgenev: "A Month in the Country"
Jules Verne: "Around the World in 80 Days"
Lever Charles
1872 Part III
Bocklin: "Self-Portrait with Death"
Whistler: "The Artist's Mother"
Mondrian Piet
Piet Mondrian
Beardsley Aubrey
Aubrey Beardsley
The Rise of Durand-Ruel
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Scriabin Alexander
Scriabin - Etudes
Alexander Scriabin
Williams Vaughan
Williams - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Vaughan Williams
1872 Part IV
Bleriot Louis
Tide-predicting machine
Westinghouse George
Elias Ney
Hague Congress
Scotland v England (1872)
Scott Charles Prestwich
Nansen Ski Club
1873 Part I
First Spanish Republic
Mac-Mahon Patrice
Financial Panic of 1873
League of the Three Emperors
Bengal famine of 1873–1874
1873 Part II
Moore G. E.
Barbusse Henri
Ford Madox Ford
Maurier Gerald
Reinhardt Max
Rimbaud: "Une Saison en enfer"
Tolstoi: "Anna Karenina"
Bryusov Valery
1873 Part III
Cezanne: "A Modern Olympia"
Gulbransson Olaf
Manet: "Le bon Bock"
Gathering of the Future Impressionists
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Bruckner: Symphony No. 2
Carl Rosa Opera Company
Caruso Enrico
Enrico Caruso - Pagliacci No!
The greatest opera singers
Enrico Caruso
Chaliapin Feodor
Feodor Chaliapin - "Black Eyes"
The greatest opera singers
Feodor Chaliapin
Reger Max
Max Reger - Piano Concerto in F-minor
Max Reger
Rachmaninoff Sergei
Rachmaninoff plays Piano Concerto 2
Sergei Rachmaninov
Rimsky-Korsakov: "The Maid of Pskov"
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2
Slezak Leo
Leo Slezak "Wenn ich vergnugt bin" 
The greatest opera singers
Leo Slezak
1873 Part IV
James Clerk Maxwell: "Electricity and Magnetism"
Euler-Chelpin Hans
Frobenius Leo
Payer Julius
Weyprecht Karl
Franz Josef Land
Cameron Verney Lovett
E. Remington and Sons
Remington Eliphalet
Hansen Gerhard Armauer
World Exposition 1873 Vienna
Wingfield Walter Clopton
1874 Part I
Anglo-Ashanti Wars (1823-1900)
Brooks–Baxter War
Swiss constitutional referendum, 1874
Colony of Fiji
Hoover Herbert
Weizmann Chaim
Churchill Winston
1874 Part II
Berdyaev Nikolai
Cassirer Ernst
Chesterton Gilbert
G.K. Chesterton quotes
G.K. Chesterton 
Flaubert: "La Tentation de Saint Antoine"
Frost Robert
Robert Frost
Thomas Hardy: "Far from the Madding Crowd"
Hofmannsthal Hugo
Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Victor Hugo: "Ninety-Three"
Maugham Somerset
Stein Gertrude
1874 Part III
Roerich Nicholas
Nicholas Roerich
Max Liebermann: "Market Scene"
Renoir: "La Loge"
The Birth of Impressionism
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Schmidt Franz
Franz Schmidt "Intermezzo" Notre Dame
Franz Schmidt
Schoenberg Arnold
Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht
Arnold Schoenberg
Holst Gustav
Gustav Holst - Venus
Gustav Holst
Ives Charles
Charles Ives - Symphony 3
Charles Ives
Moussorgsky "Boris Godunov"
Johann Strauss II: "Die Fledermaus"
Verdi: "Requiem"
1874 Part IV
Bosch Carl
Marconi Guglielmo
Curtius Ernst
Shackleton Ernest
Stanley: Expedition to the Congo and Nile
Still Andrew Taylor
Bunker Chang and Eng
Universal Postal Union
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Gerry Elbridge Thomas
Outerbridge Mary Ewing
1875 Part I
Guangxu Emperor
Herzegovina Uprising of 1875–77
Public Health Act 1875
Congregations Law of 1875
Theosophical Society
Jung Carl
Congregations Law of 1875
Buchan John
Deledda Grazia
Mann Thomas
Rejane Gabrielle
Rilke Rainer Maria
1875 Part II
Bouguereau William-Adolphe
William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Monet: "Woman with a Parasol"
An Unfortunate Experiment
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Bizet: "Carmen"
Brull Ignaz
Ignaz Brull - Das goldene Kreuz
Coleridge-Taylor Samuel
Coleridge Taylor Samuel - Violin Concerto
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Karl Goldmark: "Die Konigin von Saba"
Ravel Maurice
Ravel - Rapsodie espagnole
Maurice Ravel
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1
Boisbaudran Lecoq
Schweitzer Albert
Webb Matthew
1876 Part I
Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876
Ethio-Egyptian War
April Uprising
Batak massacre
Murad V
Abdulhamid II
Serbian–Ottoman War (1876–78)
Montenegrin–Ottoman War (1876–78)
Tilden Samuel Jones
Hayes Rutherford Birchard
Ottoman constitution of 1876
Groselle Hilarion Daza
Adenauer Konrad
1876 Part II
Bradley Francis Herbert
Trevelyan George Macaulay
Pius XII
Felix Dahn: "Ein Kampf um Rom"
London Jack
Mallarme: "L'Apres-Midi d'un faune"
Mark Twain: "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"
Modersohn-Becker Paula
Paula Modersohn-Becker
Renoir: "Le Moulin de la Galette"
Impressionism Timeline
1876 Part III
Brahms: Symphony No. 1
Casals Pablo
Leo Delibes: "Sylvia"
Falla Manuel
Manuel de Falla - Spanish dance
Manuel de Falla
Ponchielli: "La Gioconda"
Wagner: "Siegfried"
Walter Bruno
Wolf-Ferrari Ermanno
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari - "Intermezzo"
Alexander Bell invents the telephone
Johns Hopkins University
Hopkins Johns
Bacillus anthracis
Macleod John James Rickard
Brockway Zebulon Reed
Centennial International Exhibition of 1876
1877 Part I
Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78
Siege of Plevna
Satsuma Rebellion
1877 Part II
Granville-Barker Harley
Hesse Hermann
Hermann Hesse
Ibsen: "The Pillars of Society"
Henry James: "The American"
Zola: "L'Assommoir"
Praxiteles: "Hermes"
Dufy Raoul
Raoul Dufy
Winslow Homer: "The Cotton Pickers"
Kubin Alfred
Alfred Kubin
Manet: "Nana"
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
1877 Part III
Brahms: Symphony No. 2
Dohnanyi Ernst
Erno Dohnanyi - Piano Concerto No. 1
Camille Saint-Saens: "Samson et Delila"
Tchaikovsky: "Francesca da Rimini"
Ruffo Titta
Titta Ruffo: Di Provenza
Aston Francis William
Barkla Charles
Cailletet Louis-Paul
Pictet Raoul-Pierre
Liquid oxygen
Schiaparelli observes Mars' canals
Martian canal
German patent law
Madras famine of 1877
Maginot Andre
1878 Part I
Umberto I
Ten Years War 1868-1878
Battle of Shipka Pass
Epirus Revolt of 1878
Treaty of San Stefano
Treaty of Berlin 1878
Anti-Socialist Laws
Italian irredentism
Stresemann Gustav
1878 Part II
Buber Martin
Romanes George John
Treitschke Heinrich
Stoecker Adolf
Christian Social Party
Thomas Hardy: "The Return of the Native"
Kaiser Georg
Masefield John
Sandburg Carl
Sinclair Upton
1878 Part III
Malevich Kazimir
Kazimir Malevich
Kustodiev Boris
Boris Kustodiev
Petrov-Vodkin Kuzma
Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin
Multiple Disappointments
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Ambros August Wilhelm
Boughton Rutland
Boughton: The Queen of Cornwall
1878 Part IV
Mannlicher Ferdinand Ritter
Pope Albert Augustus
Watson John
Blunt and Lady Anne traveled in Arabia
Blunt Anne
Benz Karl
New Scotland Yard
Deutscher Fussballverein, Hanover
Paris World Exhibition 1878
1879 Part I
Anglo-Zulu War
Alexander of Battenberg
Second Anglo–Afghan War (1878-1880)
Treaty of Gandamak
Tewfik Pasha
Stalin Joseph
Joseph Stalin
Trotsky Leon
1879 Part II
Beveridge William
Henry George: "Progress and Poverty"
Giffen Robert
Forster Edward Morgan
Ibsen: "A Doll's House"
Henry James: "Daisy Miller"
Meredith: "The Egoist"
Stevenson: "Travels with a Donkey"
Strindberg: "The Red Room"
Valera Juan
1879 Part III
Picabia Francis
Francis Picabia
Steichen Edward Jean
Edward Steichen
Cameron Julia Margaret
Cameron Julia
Klee Paul
Paul Klee
Renoir: "Mme. Charpentier"
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Suppe: "Boccaccio"
Tchaikovsky: "Eugene Onegin"
Respighi Ottorino
Respighi - Three Botticelli Pictures
Ottorino Respighi
Bridge Frank
Frank Bridge - The Sea
Einstein Albert
Albert Einstein
Aitken Maxwell

 Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The Ball at the Moulin de la Galette
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1876 Part II
F. H. Bradley: "Ethical Studies"
Bradley Francis Herbert
F.H. Bradley, in full Francis Herbert Bradley (born January 30, 1846, Clapham, Surrey, England—died September 18, 1924, Oxford), influential English philosopher of the absolute Idealist school, which based its doctrines on the thought of G.W.F. Hegel and considered mind to be a more fundamental feature of the universe than matter.

F.H. Bradley
  Elected to a fellowship at Merton College, Oxford, in 1870, Bradley soon became ill with a kidney disease that made him a semi-invalid for the rest of his life. Because his fellowship involved no teaching duties and because he never married, he was able to devote the major part of his life to writing. He was awarded Britain’s Order of Merit, the first English philosopher to receive the distinction.

In his early work Bradley participated in the growing attack upon the Empiricist theories of English thinkers such as John Stuart Mill and drew heavily on Hegel’s ideas. In Ethical Studies (1876), Bradley’s first major work, he sought to expose the confusions apparent in Mill’s doctrine of Utilitarianism, which urged maximum human happiness as the goal of ethical behaviour. In The Principles of Logic (1883), Bradley denounced the deficient psychology of the Empiricists, whose logic was limited, in his view, to the doctrine of the association of ideas held in the human mind. He gave Hegel due credit for borrowed ideas in both books, but he never embraced Hegelianism thoroughly.

Bradley’s most ambitious work, Appearance and Reality: A Metaphysical Essay (1893), was, in his own words, a “critical discussion of first principles,” meant “to stimulate inquiry and doubt.”

The book disappointed his followers, who expected a vindication of the truths of religion. While reality is indeed spiritual, he maintained, a detailed demonstration of the notion is beyond human capacity.

If for no other reason, the demonstration is impossible because of the fatally abstract nature of human thought. Instead of ideas, which could not properly contain reality, he recommended feeling, the immediacy of which could embrace the harmonious nature of reality. His admirers were disappointed as well by his discussion of worship and the soul. He declared that religion is not a “final and ultimate” matter but, instead, a matter of practice; the philosopher’s absolute idea is incompatible with the God of religious men.

The effect of Appearance and Reality was to encourage rather than to dispel doubt, and the following that Bradley had gained through his work in ethics and logic became disenchanted. Thus, the most influential aspect of his work has been the negative and critical one because of his skill as a polemical writer.

Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore, who led the attack on Idealism, both benefitted from his sharp dialectic. Modern critics value him less for his conclusions than for the manner in which he reached them, via a ruthless search for truth. In addition to original work in philosophical psychology, Bradley wrote The Presuppositions of Critical History (1874) and Essays on Truth and Reality (1914). His psychological essays and minor writings were combined in Collected Essays (2 vol., 1935).

Encyclopædia Britannica
F. H. Bradley: "Ethical Studies"
see also: F. H. Bradley
Lombroso Cesare: "The Criminal"

Cesare Lombroso: "The Criminal"
Trevelyan George Macaulay

George Macaulay Trevelyan, (16 February 1876 – 21 July 1962),[3] was a British historian and academic. He was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge from 1898 to 1903. He then spent more than twenty years as a full-time author. He returned to the University of Cambridge and was Regius Professor of History from 1927 to 1943. He served as Master of Trinity College from 1940 to 1951. In retirement, he was Chancellor of Durham University.


George Macaulay Trevelyan
  G. M. Trevelyan, (born Feb. 16, 1876, Welcombe, Warwickshire, Eng.—died July 21, 1962, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire), English historian whose work, written for the general reader as much as for the history student, shows an appreciation of the Whig tradition in English thought and reflects a keen interest in the Anglo-Saxon element in the English constitution.

The third son of Sir George Otto Trevelyan, he was educated at Harrow and at Trinity College, Cambridge.

He became Regius Professor of modern history at Cambridge in 1927 and master of Trinity College in 1940, retiring in 1951.

Essentially liberal by training and temperament, Trevelyan showed as a historian a love of England that was also indicated by his association with the National Trust (Must England’s Beauty Perish?, 1929) and with youth hostels.

His regard for the Whigs is evidenced in his Lord Grey of the Reform Bill (1920) and Grey of Fallodon (1937). The romantic aspect of Trevelyan’s liberalism led to three books on Giuseppe Garibaldi (1907, 1909, and 1911).

Other works include England in the Age of Wycliffe (1899), British History in the Nineteenth Century (1782–1901) (1922), History of England (1926), An Autobiography and Other Essays (1949), and The Seven Years of William IV (1952).

Encyclopædia Britannica
Pius XII

Pius XII, original name Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (born March 2, 1876, Rome, Italy—died Oct. 9, 1958, Castel Gandolfo), head of the Roman Catholic church, who had a long, tumultuous, and controversial pontificate (1939–58). During his reign the papacy confronted the ravages of World War II (1939–45), the abuses of the Nazi, fascist, and Soviet regimes, the horror of the Holocaust, the challenge of postwar reconstruction, and the threat of communism and the Cold War. Deemed an ascetic and “saint of God” by his admirers, Pius has been criticized by others for his alleged “public silence” in the face of genocide and his apparently contradictory policies of impartiality during World War II but fervent anticommunism during the postwar period.


Pope Pius XII
  Early life and career
One of four children, Eugenio Pacelli was born in Rome to a family that was part of the papal, or “black,” nobility, which was devoted to service to the Vatican. His great-grandfather had served as minister of finance under Pope Gregory XVI (reigned 1831–46), his grandfather had served as undersecretary of the interior under Pius IX (1846–78), and his father was dean of the Vatican lawyers. After attending state primary schools and completing his secondary education at the Visconti Institute, Pacelli studied at the Appolinare Institute of Lateran University and Gregorian University, earning degrees in law and theology. In 1899 he was ordained a priest and in 1901 was appointed to the papal secretariat of state. He later worked under the direction of Pietro Cardinal Gasparri in preparing the new codification of canon law. He also taught international law and diplomacy at the school for papal diplomats in Rome. In 1914 Pacelli was named secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Affairs.

In 1917, as part of the Vatican’s initiative to end World War I, Benedict XV (1914–22) named him apostolic nuncio (ambassador) to the German state of Bavaria. Pacelli enthusiastically endorsed Benedict’s strict impartiality, even though the pope’s attempts to mediate a peace proved unsuccessful. Following the war, he remained in the Bavarian capital, Munich, where he had a shocking experience when, during the Spartacist rising in 1919, communists burst into the papal nunciature brandishing revolvers.

This encounter left an indelible impression upon Pacelli and contributed to his lifelong fear of communism. In 1920 he was dispatched as the first apostolic nuncio to the new German Weimar Republic, with whom he sought to negotiate a concordat (a papal agreement with a national government aimed at preserving the church’s privileges and freedom of action within the country in question). Pacelli’s discussions with the Weimar government failed, but he succeeded in signing agreements with Bavaria in 1924 and Prussia in 1929. Moreover, by the time he departed Berlin in 1929, Pacelli was a staunch Germanophile.

He became a cardinal at the end of 1929, and early in 1930 he replaced Cardinal Gasparri as secretary of state. In 1935 he was appointed papal chamberlain (camerlengo) and thus administrator of the church during any interregnum. Pacelli and the pope who appointed him to these positions, Pius XI (1922–39), had very different personalities. While the pope was outspoken and confrontational, Pacelli was cautious and diplomatic. Yet the two complemented each other and shared the belief that church interests could better be assured by concordats—even with regimes hostile to Christian principles—than by reliance on nation-based political parties acting on the church’s behalf. In fact, Pacelli’s brother Francesco helped Gasparri and Pius XI conclude the Lateran Accords with fascist Italy in 1929, which ended the so-called Roman Question and created the independent state of Vatican City. Pacelli, in turn, helped to negotiate concordats with Baden (1932), Austria (1933), and, controversially, with Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich (July 20, 1933). Some denounced the last as an unfortunate Vatican bargain with a notorious regime.

Pacelli traveled widely on papal missions, visiting South America (1934) and North America (1936) as well as France (1935, 1937) and Hungary (1937). Because of his fluency in German and familiarity with German life, he served as Pius XI’s principal adviser on Hitler and the Nazis, who assumed power in 1933. At the pope’s command, Pacelli helped draft the anti-Nazi encyclical Mit brennender Sorge (“With Deep Anxiety”), written partly in response to the Nürnberg Laws and addressed to the German church on March 14, 1937. In it the papacy condemns racial theories and the mistreatment of people because of their race or nationality but does not refer to Hitler or the Nazis by name. The pope, aware of Pacelli’s strong desire to prevent a break in relations between the Vatican and Berlin, commissioned the American Jesuit John La Farge to prepare an encyclical demonstrating the incompatibility of Catholicism and racism and excluded Pacelli from participating.


Pope Pius XII
  Early pontificate
After Pius XI’s death on Feb. 10, 1939, Cardinal Pacelli was elected his successor as Pope Pius XII in a short conclave. Pius XI’s planned encyclical, Humani generis unitas (“The Unity of the Human Race”), against racism and anti-Semitism, was returned to its authors by the new pope. Trained as a diplomat, Pius XII followed the cautious course paved by Leo XIII and Benedict XV rather than the more confrontational one taken by Pius IX, Pius X, and Pius XI.

Hoping to serve as a “Pope of Peace,” Pius XII tried unsuccessfully to dissuade European governments from embarking on war. As part of his policy of preserving the impartiality of the Holy See and serving as mediator between nations, Pius did not want to antagonize fascist Italy and Nazi Germany by issuing an encyclical that would have provoked them, a decision now cited by historians antipathetic to the pope as a sign of his indifference in the face of evil.
His defenders, in turn, argue that Pius XII sought to avoid reprisals and greater harm. Whatever his motivation, when Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, Pius did not condemn the aggression, insisting that he had to remain above the fray, and his first encyclical, Summi pontificatus (“On the Limitations of the Authority of the State”), issued Oct. 20, 1939, reflected this diplomatic course.

Pius XII, like Benedict XV, insisted that the papal position was not one of neutrality (which implied indifference) but one of impartiality.
This, however, did not prevent Pius from informing the British government early in 1940 that several German generals were prepared to overturn the Nazi government if they could be assured of an honourable peace, and it did not prevent him from warning the Allies of the impending German invasion of the Low Countries in May 1940. Nor did it prevent him from futilely attempting to keep Benito Mussolini from entering the war (fascist Italy joined the Axis on June 10, 1940).

Pope Pius XII
  World War II and the Holocaust
Unable to stop the spread of war, Pius—the first pope to use radio extensively—made a series of Christmas broadcasts in which he returned to a number of themes raised by Benedict XV during World War I. In them he looked forward to a new world order that would supersede the selfish nationalism that had provoked the conflagration. Pius’s relations with the Axis and the Allies may have been impartial, but his policies were tinged with uncompromising anticommunism. Nonetheless, despite his personal hatred of communism, he refused to support the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Early in 1940, he welcomed Myron C. Taylor, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt’s personal representative to the Vatican, but did not heed Taylor’s exhortations to condemn Nazi atrocities. Instead, the pope obliquely referred to the evils of modern warfare.

In his Christmas message of 1942, Pius came close to revealing his sympathy for those “who without fault…sometimes only because of race or nationality, have been consigned to death or to a slow decline.” He refused to say more, fearing that public papal denunciations might provoke the Hitler regime to brutalize further those subject to Nazi terror—as it had when Dutch bishops publicly protested earlier in the year—while jeopardizing the future of the church. Although he allowed the national hierarchies to assess and respond to the situation in their countries, he established the Vatican Information Service to provide aid to, and information about, thousands of war refugees and instructed the church to provide discreet aid to Jews, which quietly saved thousands of lives.

After the war, however, the pontiff was sharply criticized for not having done more to aid Hitler’s victims and was seen by some as a “Pope of Silence” in the face of the Holocaust. At the same time, it was noted that Pius had much to say on subjects unrelated to the war. In his Divino afflante spiritu (“With the Help of the Divine Spirit”; 1943), for example, he sanctioned a limited use of critical historicism for biblical studies, while his Mystici corporis Christi (“Mystical Body of Christ”; 1943) sought to promote a more positive relationship between the church and nonbelievers.

“Time” [Credit: Time Inc.—Time Life Pictures/Getty Images]During the war Pius tried to spare Rome from aerial assault. After the Anglo-American bombardment of the city on July 19, 1943, he visited the wounded in the San Lorenzo quarter, whose railroad yard had been targeted. When German troops occupied the city after Italy’s surrender to the Allies in September 1943, Pius proclaimed it to be an “open city” and came to be known as defensor civitatis (“defender of the city”). Several thousand antifascist politicians and Jews found refuge in church buildings during the German occupation. Less fortunate were 1,259 Romans rounded up in Jewish homes on the Sabbath, Oct. 16, 1943. The Vatican managed to secure the release of 252 of these, who were either “Aryan” or the children of mixed marriages, but more than 1,000 Jews were transported to Auschwitz, where some 800 were quickly killed.


Pope Pius XII
  After World War II
As the war neared an end, the pope opposed the unconditional surrender demanded by the Allies, fearing that it would prolong the fighting and bring the Soviet Union and its communist ideology and imperium into eastern and central Europe. He also had serious reservations about the agreement reached by Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at the Yalta Conference and the prominent role envisioned for the Soviet Union in postwar Europe. Pius’s worst fears soon materialized as Soviet domination spread and József Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary and Stefan Cardinal Wyszinski of Poland were imprisoned. Fearing a communist incursion into Germany and Italy, Pius endorsed postwar western European integration and adamantly condemned the expansion of communism into eastern Europe. In 1949 he issued a decree attacking the Soviet Union’s totalitarianism and authorized the Holy Office to excommunicate Catholics who joined or even collaborated with the “godless” communists.

Immediately after the war, the pope opposed the establishment of an independent political party to promote Roman Catholic and anticommunist interests in Italy; however, he eventually embraced the organization that did so, the Italian Christian Democratic Party. Indeed, the precarious postwar balance of power between the Christian Democrats and the extreme left in Italy led him to encourage the members of Catholic Action (an activist lay movement under clerical control) to participate in parliamentary politics.


Thus, the Vatican openly intervened in the Italian parliamentary elections of 1948, calling upon the parish clergy and the three million members of Catholic Action organizations to support its political agenda.

Clerical intrusion in Italian public life reached another high point in the 1950s when Pius’s failing health left the power of the Vatican increasingly in the hands of conservative cardinals, including Alfredo Ottaviani, head of the Holy Office. In 1952 Luigi Gedda, president of Catholic Action, fearing that the Christian Democrats might lose the municipal elections in Rome, proposed a Christian Democratic coalition with the parties of the right, an idea rejected by Alcide de Gasperi, the party leader and Italian prime minister, though apparently approved by the pope.

The frail and aloof pope remained an enigma for many in the 1950s. Devoted to Mary, Pius in 1950 announced the dogma that she was bodily assumed into heaven, the sole infallible declaration made after the formal proclamation of the doctrine of infallibility at the First Vatican Council (1869–70). For some, this posed yet another barrier to ecumenism. He also pleased conservatives but upset liberals by suppressing the French worker-priests who had been living with labourers in order to extend their ministry.

He censored the questioning attitude and research priorities of the new French theology in his encyclical Humani generis (“Of the Human Race”) and supported traditional teachings regarding marital relations and birth control.

 On the other hand, he pleased liberals and angered conservatives by shortening and liberalizing the rules for the period of fasting before communion, taking steps to revise the liturgy, and making evening masses possible. There was also a mixed reaction from the left and right to his denunciation of atomic weaponry and his establishment of the Latin American Episcopal Council in 1956. Finally, his emphasis on the importance of the laity’s role in the church and the need to reform the Curia dismayed some conservatives, who questioned his commitment to tradition. Although Pius did not hesitate to sign concordats with repressive regimes—such as one with Francisco Franco’s Spain in 1953 and Rafael Trujillo’s Dominican Republic in 1954—he did not allow the postwar church, much less the Vatican, to become subordinate to them—as his excommunication of Argentine strongman Juan Perón in 1955 demonstrates.

In failing health, Pius XII died in his summer palace at Castel Gandolfo, Italy, on Oct. 9, 1958. Pius’s death marked not so much the end of an era for the church as an important transition before it embarked on major reforms under John XXIII (1958–63), who convoked the Second Vatican Council (1959–65). There were those who wondered what changes Pius XII would have fostered if he had convoked the council, which he had contemplated.

The controversy that followed Pius throughout his life did not stop with his death. Though upon his death he was praised effusively by world leaders and especially by Jewish groups for his actions during World War II on behalf of the persecuted, within a decade he was depicted in German playwright Rolf Hochhuth’s The Deputy (1963) as indifferent to the Nazi genocide. More recently, John Cornwell’s controversial book on Pius, Hitler’s Pope (1999), characterized him as anti-Semitic.

Both depictions, however, lack credible substantiation. Furthermore, though Pius’s wartime public condemnations of racism and genocide were cloaked in generalities, he did not turn a blind eye to the suffering but chose to use diplomacy to aid the persecuted. It is impossible to know if a more forthright condemnation of the Holocaust would have proved more effective in saving lives, though it probably would have better assured his reputation.

Not surprisingly, the move to beatify Pius XII alongside John XXIII in 2000 provoked a storm of controversy that may have contributed to the decision to postpone Pius’s beatification.

Frank J. Coppa

Encyclopædia Britannica

Felix Dahn: "Ein Kampf um Rom"

Struggle for Rome (alternatively A Fight for Rome) is an historical novel written by Dahn Felix  (under the original title Ein Kampf um Rom which appeared in 1876).

Plot summary
After the death of Theodoric the Great his successors try to maintain his legacy: an independent Ostrogothic Kingdom. They are opposed by the Eastern Roman Empire, ruled by emperor Justinian I. It is he who tries to restore the Roman Empire to its state before the Migration Period from his residence in Constantinople, which requires the capture of the Italian Peninsula and specifically Rome. Theodoric the Great is succeeded by his infant grandson Athalaric, supervised by his mother, Amalasuntha, as regent. The lack of a strong heir caused the network of alliances that surrounded the Ostrogothic state to disintegrate: the Visigothic kingdom regained its autonomy under Amalaric, the relations with the Vandals turned increasingly hostile, and the Franks embarked again on expansion, subduing the Thuringians and the Burgundians and almost evicting the Visigoths from their last holdings in southern Gaul. After Athalaric, Ostrogoths Theodahad, Witiges, Totila and Teia succeed Theodoric the Great as king of the Ostrogoths, in that order, and theirs is the task to defend what is left of their empire. They are assisted by Theodoric's faithful armourer Hildebrand. The names of the chapters in the book follow the chronology of the Gothic kings.

Meanwhile, a (fictional) Roman prefect of the Cethegus clan, has his own agenda to rebuild the empire. He represents the majority of the population as a former citizen of the Western Roman Empire.
He too tries to get rid of the Goths but is at the same time determined to keep the Eastern Romans out of "his Italy".

Felix Dahn: "Struggle for Rome"
In the end, the Eastern Romans outlast both the Ostrogoths and Cethegus and reclaim Italy. Cethegus dies in a duel with the (at that time) king Teia. The struggle for Rome ends in the battle of Mons Lactarius near Mount Vesuvius, where the Ostrogoths make their last stand defending a narrow pass (a scene reminiscent of the battle of Thermopylae) and, once defeated, are led back north to the island of Thule where their roots lie by a kindred Northern European people.
Literary context
The book recounts the struggle of the Ostrogoth state in Italy with the Eastern Roman Empire and describes their doom. The main motif of the book is stated in the poem at its end: Make way, you people, for our stride. | We are the last of the Goths. | We do not carry a crown with us, | We carry but a corpse. [ ... ]. This corpse belongs to their late and last king Teia who, throughout the story, symbolises the tragedy of his people's downfall from the moment of Theodoric the Great's death. During the reign of German emperor William II the book was interpreted as criticism on decadence and after World War I it was interpreted, in retrospect, as a prediction for the fall of the German Empire.

Besides a plot that is both colourful and rich of intrigue, the novel focuses on the actual struggle for control over Ancient Rome and specifically on the acts of heroism and heroic deaths therein. For this fact it was quickly considered a novel for boys in the German Empire, newly founded in 1871; the book was continuously handed over from the previous generation of adolescents to the next until the 1940s.

Dahn was a trained historian and - prior to the novel - had published a first scientific monography about Procopius of Caesarea (in 1865), the main source of the Gothic War (535–552), describing the history of Theoderic's realm and people and their future fates. Dahn incorporated many historical details into the story. However, he was also able to create new characters if he felt the need for them, e.g. Cethegus.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
James Henry: "Roderick Hudson"

Henry James: "Roderick Hudson"
see also: Henry James
London Jack

Jack London, pseudonym of John Griffith Chaney (born January 12, 1876, San Francisco, California, U.S.—died November 22, 1916, Glen Ellen, California), American novelist and short-story writer whose works deal romantically with elemental struggles for survival. He is one of the most extensively translated of American authors.


Jack London
  Deserted by his father, a roving astrologer, London was raised in Oakland, California, by his spiritualist mother and his stepfather, whose surname, London, he took. At 14 he quit school to escape poverty and gain adventure. He explored San Francisco Bay in his sloop, alternately stealing oysters or working for the government fish patrol. He went to Japan as a sailor and saw much of the United States as a hobo riding freight trains and as a member of Kelly’s industrial army (one of the many protest armies of unemployed born of the panic of 1893). He saw depression conditions, was jailed for vagrancy, and in 1894 became a militant socialist. London educated himself at public libraries with the writings of Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, and Friedrich Nietzsche, usually in popularized forms. At 19 he crammed a four-year high school course into one year and entered the University of California, Berkeley, but after a year he quit school to seek a fortune in the Klondike gold rush of 1897. Returning the next year, still poor and unable to find work, he decided to earn a living as a writer.

London studied magazines and then set himself a daily schedule of producing sonnets, ballads, jokes, anecdotes, adventure stories, or horror stories, steadily increasing his output. The optimism and energy with which he attacked his task are best conveyed in his autobiographical novel Martin Eden (1909), perhaps his most enduring work. Within two years stories of his Alaskan adventures, though often crude, began to win acceptance for their fresh subject matter and virile force.

His first book, The Son of the Wolf (1900), gained a wide audience. During the remainder of his life he produced steadily, completing 50 books of fiction and nonfiction in 17 years. Although he became the highest-paid writer in the United States, his earnings never matched his expenditures, and he was never freed of the urgency of writing for money. He sailed a ketch to the South Pacific, telling of his adventures in The Cruise of the Snark (1911). In 1910 he settled on a ranch near Glen Ellen, California, where he built his grandiose Wolf House. He maintained his socialist beliefs almost to the end of his life.

Jack London’s hastily written output is of uneven quality. His Alaskan stories Call of the Wild (1903), White Fang (1906), and Burning Daylight (1910), in which he dramatized in turn atavism, adaptability, and the appeal of the wilderness, are outstanding. In addition to Martin Eden, he wrote two other autobiographical novels of considerable interest: The Road (1907) and John Barleycorn (1913). Other important works are The Sea Wolf (1904), which features a Nietzschean superman hero, and The Iron Heel (1908), a fantasy of the future that is a terrifying anticipation of fascism. London’s reputation declined in the United States in the 1920s when a brilliant new generation of postwar writers made the prewar writers seem lacking in sophistication, but his popularity has remained high throughout the world, especially in Russia, where a commemorative edition of his works published in 1956 was reported to have been sold out in five hours. A three-volume set of his letters, edited by Earle Labor et al., was published in 1988.

Encyclopædia Britannica

  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Mallarme: "L'Apres-Midi d'un faune"

"L'après-midi d'un faune" (or "The Afternoon of a Faun") is a poem by the French author Mallarme Stephane.

It is his best-known work and a landmark in the history of symbolism in French literature.

Paul Valéry considered it to be the greatest poem in French literature.

Initial versions of the poem were written between 1865 (the first mention of the poem is found in a letter Mallarmé wrote to Henri Cazalis in June 1865) and 1867, and the final text was published in 1876.

It describes the sensual experiences of a faun who has just woken up from his afternoon sleep and discusses his encounters with several nymphs during the morning in a dreamlike monologue.

Mallarmé's poem formed the inspiration for the orchestral work Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy and the ballets Afternoon of a Faun by Vaslav Nijinsky, Jerome Robbins and Tim Rushton.

The Debussy and Njinsky works would be of great significance in the development of modernism in the arts.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

see also:

Stéphane Mallarmé
Stephane Mallarmé as a faun, cover of the literary magazine Les hommes d'aujourd'hui, 1887.

Frontispiece for "L'après-midi d'un faune", drawing by Édouard Manet.
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Meyer Conrad Ferdinand: "Jurg Jenatsch"

C. F. Meyer: "Jurg Jenatsch"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Sand George, French writer, d. (b. 1804)

George Sand by Nadar, 1864
see also: George Sand
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Mark Twain: "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is an 1876 novel about a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River. It is set in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, inspired by Hannibal, Missouri, where Twain lived.

Plot summary
Tom Sawyer lives with his Aunt Polly and his half-brother Sid. He skips school to swim and is made to whitewash the fence the next day as punishment. He cleverly persuades his friends to trade him small treasures for the privilege of doing his work. He then trades the treasures for Sunday School tickets which one normally receives for memorizing verses, redeeming them for a Bible, much to the surprise and bewilderment of the superintendent who thought "it was simply preposterous that this boy had warehoused two thousand sheaves of Scriptural wisdom on his premises—a dozen would strain his capacity, without a doubt."
Tom falls in love with Becky Thatcher, a new girl in town, and persuades her to get "engaged" by kissing him. But their romance collapses when she learns Tom has been "engaged" previously to Amy Lawrence. Shortly after Becky shuns him, he accompanies Huckleberry Finn to the graveyard at night, where they witness a trio of graverobbers, Dr. Robinson, Muff Potter and the halfbreed Injun Joe, getting into a fight. While Potter is knocked unconscious during the scuffle, Injun Joe stabs the doctor to death and later pins the blame on Potter, who is arrested and charged with murder.

Tom and Huck run away to an island. While enjoying their new-found freedom, they become aware that the community is sounding the river for their bodies. Tom sneaks back home one night to observe the commotion.

Front piece of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

After a brief moment of remorse at his loved ones' suffering, he is struck by the idea of appearing at his own funeral.

Back in school, Tom gets himself back in Becky's favor after he nobly accepts the blame for a book she has ripped. Soon, Muff Potter's trial begins, in which Tom testifies against Injun Joe. Potter is acquitted, but Injun Joe flees the courtroom through a window. Tom then fears for his life as Injun Joe is at large and can easily find him.

Summer arrives, and Tom and Huck go hunting for buried treasure in a haunted house. After venturing upstairs they hear a noise below. Peering through holes in the floor, they see Injun Joe disguised as a deaf-mute Spaniard; Injun Joe and his companion plan to bury some stolen treasure of their own. From their hiding spot, Tom and Huck wriggle with delight at the prospect of digging it up. Huck begins to shadow Injun Joe nightly, watching for an opportunity to nab the gold. In the meantime, Tom goes on a picnic to McDougal's Cave with Becky and their classmates. In his overconfidence, Tom strays off the marked paths with Becky and they get hopelessly lost. That night, Huck sees Injun Joe and his partner making off with a box. He follows and overhears their plans to attack the Widow Douglas. By running to fetch help, Huck prevents the crime and becomes an anonymous hero.

As Tom and Becky wander the extensive cave complex for the next few days, Becky gets extremely dehydrated and starved, so Tom's search for a way out gets even more determined. He accidentally encounters Injun Joe one day, but he is not seen by his nemesis. Eventually he finds a way out, and they are joyfully welcomed back by their community. As a preventive measure, Judge Thatcher has McDougal's Cave sealed off, but this traps Injun Joe inside. When Tom hears of the sealing several days later and directs a posse to the cave, they find Injun Joe's corpse just inside the sealed entrance, starved to death.

A week later, having deduced from Injun Joe's presence at McDougal's Cave that the villain must have hidden the stolen gold inside, Tom takes Huck to the cave and they find the box of gold, the proceeds of which are invested for them. The Widow Douglas adopts Huck, and when he attempts to escape civilized life, Tom tricks him into thinking that he can join Tom's robber band if he returns to the widow. Reluctantly, he agrees and goes back to her.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  Mark Twain

"The Prince and the Pauper"
  Western Literature

English Literature - German literature
French literature - Russian literature
American literature
Modersohn-Becker Paula
Paula Modersohn-Becker (February 8, 1876 – November 21, 1907) was a German painter and one of the most important representatives of early expressionism. In a brief career, cut short by an embolism at the age of 31, she created a number of groundbreaking images of great intensity. She is becoming recognized as the first female painter to paint female nudes. Using bold forays into subject matter and chromatic color choices, she and fellow-artists Picasso and Matisse introduced the world to modernism at the start of the twentieth century.

Paula Modersohn-Becker
Paula Becker was born and grew up in Dresden-Friedrichstadt. She was the third child of seven children in her family. Her father, the son of a Russian university professor, was employed with the German railway. Her mother was from an aristocratic family, and her parents provided their children a cultured and intellectual household environment.

In 1888 the family moved from Dresden to Bremen. While visiting an aunt in London, Becker received her first instruction in drawing. In 1893 she was introduced to works of the artists' circle of Worpswede; Otto Modersohn, Fritz Mackensen, Fritz Overbeck and Heinrich Vogeler presented their paintings in Bremen's Art Museum, Kunsthalle Bremen. In addition to her teacher's training in Bremen in 1893-1895, Becker received private instruction in painting. In 1896 she participated in a course for painting and drawing sponsored by the "Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen" (Union of Berlin Female Artists) which offered art studies to women.

Becker's friend Clara Westhoff left Bremen in early 1899 to study in Paris. By December of that year, Becker followed her there, and in 1900 she studied at the Académie Colarossi in the Latin Quarter.


In April 1900 the great Centennial Exhibition was held in Paris. On this occasion Fritz Overbeck and his wife, along with Otto Modersohn, arrived in June. Modersohn's ailing wife Helen had been left in Worpswede and died during his trip to Paris. With this news Modersohn and the Overbecks rushed back to Germany.

In 1901 Paula married Otto Modersohn and became stepmother to Otto's two-year-old daughter, Elsbeth Modersohn, the child from his first marriage. She functioned in that capacity for two years, then relocated to Paris again in 1903. She and Modersohn lived mostly apart from that time forward until 1907, when she returned to Germany full-time, apparently in hopes of conceiving her own child.

The marriage with Modersohn remained unconsummated until their final year together. By 1906, Becker (now known as Paula Modersohn-Becker) has reversed her previous desire to avoid having children, and began an affair with a well-known Parisian "ladies man". However, by early 1907 she returned to her husband, became pregnant, and in November she delivered a daughter, Mathilde.

After the pregnancy she complained of severe leg pain, so the physician ordered bed rest. After 18 days he told her to get up and begin moving, but apparently an embolism had formed in a leg, and encouraged by her movement, was sufficient to break off and cause her death within hours of her rising.


Artistic activity
In 1898, at age 22, Becker immersed herself in the artistic community of Worpswede, where artists such as Fritz Mackensen (1866-1953) and Heinrich Vogeler (1872-1942) had retreated to protest against the domination of the art academy and life in the big city. She studied under Mackensen, painting from the nearby farmers, and the northern German landscape. At this time she began close friendships with the sculptor Clara Westhoff (1875-1954) and the poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926).

Until the years when Paula Becker began the practice, women painters had not widely used nude females as subjects for their work.

Paula Becker was trained in the methods of realism and naturalism, and she abandoned those techniques to move into Fauvism. She is becoming recognized as having influenced at least one of Picasso's paintings.


Paula Modersohn-Becker. Self Portrait
  Trips to Paris
Until 1907 Paula Modersohn-Becker made another six extended trips to Paris for artistic purposes, sometimes living separately from her husband, Otto. During one of her stays in Paris she took courses at the École des Beaux-Arts. She visited contemporary exhibitions often, and was particularly intrigued with the work of Paul Cézanne. Other post impressionists were especially influential, including Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. Fauvism influences also appear in her works such as Poorhouse Woman with a Glass Bottle. The influence of French painter Jean-François Millet is noted in such pieces as her 1900 Peat Cutters.

During her last trip to Paris in 1906 she produced a series of paintings about which she felt very great excitement and satisfaction. During this period of painting, she produced her initial nude self-portraits, unprecedented for female artists, as well as portraits of her friends, including Rainer Maria Rilke and Werner Sombart. Art historians concur that this period was the strongest and most compelling time of her art production.

Final year
In 1907 Paula Modersohn-Becker returned to her husband in Worpswede, despite period correspondence that indicate her desire for independence. She wrote in detail about her love for her husband but also of her need to delay motherhood in her pursuit of artistic freedom. She continued to express ambivalence regarding motherhood as she was concerned about her ability to paint while raising a child; her diary entries indicate that she had planned on achieving a painting career by age thirty, then having children. So, when her daughter Mathilde (Tillie) Modersohn was born on November 2, 1907, Paula and Otto were joyous. The joy became tragedy nineteen days later, when Paula suddenly died. She had complained of pain in her legs after the delivery, and was advised to remain in bed. When the physician returned on 21 November, he advised her to rise. She walked a few steps, then sat down, called for the infant to be placed in her arms, complained of leg pain, and died, saying only "What a pity." She was buried in the Worpswede Cemetery where her grave is preserved.


By 1899 Clara Westhoff had made a bust of her friend Paula Becker, saying that it was a symbol of their friendship and shared passion for art.

In 1908 Rainer Maria Rilke wrote the renowned poem "Requiem for a Friend" in memory of Paula Modersohn-Becker.

Mathilde Modersohn (1907-1998) founded the Paula Modersohn-Becker Foundation (Paula Modersohn-Becker-Stiftung) in 1978.

In 1988 a stamp with the portrait of Paula Modersohn-Becker was issued in the series Women in German history by the German post-office authority Deutsche Bundespost.

Paula Modersohn-Becker was not widely known at the time of her untimely death (age 31), and would have dropped into obscurity but for her voluminous writing. She maintained a diary, and corresponded regularly with friends in her artistic circle. Her letters were collected and widely published (in German) during the 1920s, and it was largely through them that her legacy was maintained. In the 1970s, US art historian Diane Radycki first translated them into English (they have also been translated by others since then). Two-thirds of the correspondence occurred from her sixteenth year to the early years of her marriage, and are full of youthful optimism and energy.


Monument on the grave of Paula Modersohn-Becker in Worpswede cemetery,
by sculptor Bernhard Hoetger (1907)

Paula Becker House
Modersohn-Becker's in Bremen, where she spent much of her life, opened in October 2007 as a private art museum and gallery. Her family moved from Dresden to Bremen in 1888 and lived in this house. Paula Becker lived here until 1899, when she was 23 years old, and set up her first studio in this house. There was an active artist community in Bremen and via Backer's mother's friendships in the art world, Paula grew to be part of the community. Apart from her teacher's training in Bremen in 1893-1895, Paula took private instruction in painting. It was not well known that the young Paula Becker had lived here for ten years; in 2003 Heinz and Betty Thies bought the then-rundown house, and had it restored in time for the 100th anniversary of the artist's death. At that time (November 2007) it was turned into a public museum.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paula Modersohn-Becker. Self Portrait

Paula Modersohn-Becker
  Art of the 20th century

Art of the 20th century Timeline (1900-1999)
Renoir: "Le Moulin de la Galette"

Bal du moulin de la Galette (commonly known as Dance at Le moulin de la Galette) is an 1876 painting by French artist Renoir Pierre-Auguste. It is housed at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and is one of Impressionism's most celebrated masterpieces. The painting depicts a typical Sunday afternoon at Moulin de la Galette in the district of Montmartre in Paris. In the late 19th century, working class Parisians would dress up and spend time there dancing, drinking, and eating galettes into the evening.


Renoir Pierre-Auguste
. The Ball at the Moulin de la Galette
Like other works of Renoir's early maturity, Bal du moulin de la Galette is a typically Impressionist snapshot of real life. It shows a richness of form, a fluidity of brush stroke, and a flickering light.

From 1879 to 1894 the painting was in the collection of the French painter Gustave Caillebotte; when he died it became the property of the French Republic as payment for death duties. From 1896 to 1929 the painting hung in the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris. From 1929 it hung in the Musée du Louvre until it was transferred to the Musée d'Orsay in 1986.


Renoir Pierre-Auguste. The Ball at the Moulin de la Galette. (detail)
Smaller version
Renoir painted a smaller version of the picture (78 × 114 cm) with the same title. The painting is now believed to be in a private collection in Switzerland. Apart from their size, the two paintings are virtually identical, although the smaller is painted in a more fluid manner than the d'Orsay version. One is presumably a copy of the original, but it is not known which is the original. It is not even known which was the one first exhibited at the 3rd Impressionist exhibition of 1877, because although the painting was catalogued and given favourable attention by critics, its entry did not indicate the size of the painting, information that would serve to identify it.

For many years it was owned by John Hay Whitney. On May 17, 1990, his widow sold the painting for US$78 million at Sotheby's in New York City to Ryoei Saito (Saitō Ryōei), the honorary chairman of Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Company, Japan.

At the time of sale, it was one of the top two most expensive artworks ever sold, together with van Gogh's Portrait of Dr. Gachet, which was also purchased by Saito. Saito caused international outrage when he suggested in 1991 that he intended to cremate both paintings with him when he died. However, when Saito and his companies ran into severe financial difficulties, bankers who held the painting as collateral for loans arranged a confidential sale through Sotheby's to an undisclosed buyer. Although not known for certain, the painting is believed to be in the hands of a Swiss collector.

As of January 2013 the Bal du moulin de la Galette is sixth (when adjusted for the consumer price index) on the list of most expensive paintings ever sold.


Renoir Pierre-Auguste. The Ball at the Moulin de la Galette. Smaller version
Renoir conceived his project of painting the dancing at Le Moulin de la Galette in May 1876 and its execution is described in full by his civil servant friend Georges Rivière in his memoir Renoir et ses amis. In the first place, Renoir needed to set up a studio near the mill. A suitable studio was found at an abandoned cottage in the rue Cortot with a garden described by Rivière as a "beautiful abandoned park". Several of Renoir's major works were painted in this garden at this time, including La balançoire (The Swing). The gardens and its buildings have been preserved as the Musée de Montmartre.

Rivière identified several of the personalities in the painting. Despite Renoir's resource of distributing a sought after fashionable hat of the time amongst his models (the straw bonnet with a wide red ribbon top right is an example of this hat, called a timbale), he was unable to persuade his favourite sixteen-year-old model Jeanne, who appears in La balançoire, to pose as principal for the painting (in fact she was conducting an affair with a local boy at the time).
It is her sister Estelle who poses as the girl wearing a blue and pink striped dress. These two girls came to Le Moulin every Sunday with their family; with two younger sisters barely taller than the tables, and their mother and father, properly chaperoned by their mother (entry was free for girls at Le Moulin and not all were models of virtue). Beside her is a group consisting of Pierre-Franc Lamy and Norbert Goeneutte (also appearing in La balançoire), fellow painters, as well as Rivière himself. Behind her, amongst the dancers, are to be found Henri Gervex, Eugène Pierre Lestringuez and Paul Lhote (who appears in Dance in the Country). In the middle distance, in the middle of the dance hall, the Cuban painter Don Pedro Vidal de Solares y Cardenas is depicted in striped trousers dancing with the model called Margot (Marguerite Legrand). Apparently the exuberant Margot found Solares too reserved and was endeavouring to loosen him up by dancing polkas with him and teaching him dubious songs in the local argot. She was to die of typhoid just two years later, Renoir nursing her until the end, paying both for her treatment and her funeral.

Rivière describes the painting as executed on the spot and that not without difficulty as the wind constantly threatened to blow the canvas away. This has led some critics to speculate that it was the larger d'Orsay painting that was painted here, as the smaller would have been easier to control. On the other hand the smaller is much the more spontaneous and freely worked of the two, characteristic of en plein air work.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Renoir Pierre-Auguste. La balançoire.
  Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Gaining Ground
All the major Impressionist artists save for Manet are included in the second Impressionist exhibition, and an important newcomer is introduced - Gustave Caillebotte. His work steals the show and helps to make the second exhibition far more of a popular success than the first.

4th Cezanne takes his patron Victor Chocquet to meet Monet at Argenteuil.

Manet has two paintings, The Artist and Le Linge, rejected by the Salon and exhibits them, with others, at his studio.
Van Gogh is dismissed from Goupil's gallery. Sisley goes to live at Marly.

In London the dealer Emile Deschamps exhibits works by Degas, Manet, Morisot and Sisley.
Manet's In a Canoe is bitterly attacked by a reviewer in The Times, who feels the mode of execution is as unpleasant as the subject ('a singularly offensive couple'). The British collector Henry Hill visits the exhibition and buys four Degas dance pictures.
Van Gogh obtains a position as an assistant teacher in England at a school in Ramsgate (he subsequently moves to the Jones Methodist School in Isleworth, where he is also a lay preacher).

1st Opening of the second Impressionist exhibition at Durand-Ruel's gallery in rue Le Peletier.

Flood at Port-Marly

Of the eight landscapes that Sisley showed at the second Impressionist exhibition, three, including this work, depicted a flooded wine merchant's shop, as seen from the rue de Paris. Adolphe Tavernier, a critic, bought this version, and on the sale of his collection in 1900 it was acquired by Count Isaac dc Camondo for 43,000 francs, who gave it to the Louvre in 1908.

3rd The Salon opens.

Eva Gonzales as 'a student of Manet' is accepted, but Manet himself is rejected, as is Cezanne.
Gauguin starts buying works by Cezanne, Manet, Monet and Pissarro - largely as a result of meeting Pissarro, who helps him with his painting.

Duranty publishes La Mouvelle peinture - the first book devoted to Impressionism, though the word is never used. (The subtitle of the book is A propos du groupe des artistes qui expose dans les galeries Durand-Ruel.)

Portrait of Edmond Duranty

An active member of the Cafe Guerbois circle, Marcellin Desboutin was a talented engraver and a mediocre painter, who was the subject of Manet's The Artist (1875) and the male figure in Degas' The Absinthe Drinker of the following year. Edmond Duranty was one of the main critical exponents of Realism in art and literature and the author of Im Nouvelkpeinture (1876), written in defence of the Impressionists.

13th Henry James praises the Impressionists in the New York Tribune.
Strindberg, as a young visitor to Paris, sees the Impressionist exhibition and (as he later wrote to Gauguin) is greatly excited by it.

Degas goes to Naples to discuss the debts of his family's firm.
Monet's Impression: Sunrise - the work that prompted Leroy to coin the term Impressionism - sells at the Hotel Drouot for 210 francs.

Renoir starts to frequent the Moulin de la Galette, an open-air dancing establishment in Montmartre frequented by shop assistants.
Cezanne paints at L'Estaque near Marseilles.

Manet spends two weeks with the Hoschede family in Montgeron. After his departure Monet comes to stay with the family and paints decorative panels in the house, as well as several landscapes.


31st Degas assumes a major part of the responsibility for the debts incurred by the family firm.
Monet settles at 26 rue d'Edimbourg, near the Gare St-Lazare.

Renoir stays at Champrosay with Alphonse Daudet, the Realist novelist and playwright.

Degas' The Absinthe Drinker is exhibited in the winter exhibition at Brighton Museum under the title A Sketch in a
French Cafe

23rd Mallarme writes an article on 'The Impressionists and Edouard Manet' for the Art Monthly Review.

Georges Charpentier (the publisher of Daudet, Flaubert, the Goncourts, Maupassant and Zola) commissions Renoir to decorate his Paris home in the rue de Grenelle.
Pissarro starts to paint decorative tiles while staying with his friend Ludovic Piette at Montfoucault in Normandy.


3rd Caillebotte draws up a will providing money for an Impressionist exhibition to be held after his death and bequeathing his collection of Impressionist paintings to the State on condition that they should first be exhibited in a museum devoted to contemporary art and eventually in the Louvre.

The second Impressionist exhibition - entitled simply 'La Deuxieme Exposition de Peinture par..." — was held at Durand-Ruel's gallery, 11 rue Le Peletier, from April 11th to May 9th.

Some of the exhibitors had no connection with the Impressionists, but there was one important newcomer, Gustave Gaillebotte, whose The Floor Strippers was one of the sensations of the show. Caillebotte had been introduced to the group by Monet and Renoir. He was extremely wealthy and supported most of the subsequent Impressionist exhibitions. Another notable supporter of the Impressionists, remarkable for his enthusiasm, was Renoir's new friend Victor Chocquet, who played an active part in promoting the exhibition and visited it every day, eagerly expounding the beauties of the paintings to anyone who would listen.

The Floor Strippers

Critics such as Edmond Duranty saw the sense of contemporary realism, which was often to be found in Impressionist works, as one of their greatest virtues. This quality was strikingly present in Caillebotte's remarkable picture of three men renovating the floor of his new apartment. The work did not appear in the exhibition catalogue.
There were 252 works shown, including twenty-four by Degas, eighteen by Monet, seventeen by Morisot, thirteen by Pissarro, fifteen by Renoir and eight by Sisley. Caillebotte apparently exhibited eight paintings, though they are not mentioned in the catalogue. There were also two works by Bazille, included as a memorial to the artist, who had been killed in November 1870 in a minor skirmish during the Franco-Prussian war. Monet's name and Sisley's were printed incorrectly in the catalogue as 'Monnet' and 'Sysley'.

Arranged by artists, the paintings which were 'easiest' to appreciate were hung in the front rooms and the more 'difficult' ones in the rooms at the back. Degas broke new ground by including photographs of paintings for sale that were not on show. The pictures that attracted most comment were Degas' Portraits in an Office and Monet's The Japanese Girl — a huge portrait of a young woman dressed in a kimono. Although Monet later dismissed this painting as 'rubbish', it sold for the comparatively high price of 2000 francs.

Portraits in an Office

With its instantaneous veracity, this painting clearly reflects the influence of the camera. Set in a cotton market in New Orleans, Degas originally intended to send the work to Agnew, the Manchester art dealer, as he thought a 'wealthy spinner' might buy it. However, the planned negotiations with Agnew did not take place, and die work was eventually bought in 1878 by the Museum of Pau for 5000 francs.

The Japanese Girl

Throughout his life Monet was fascinated by all things Japanese, and at the time when this work was painted the style was particularly in demand. Intent on making a good impression at the Salon, the artist combined all the features that he thought might commend it to a fashionable audience. His wife Camille, in a blond wig, looks out provocatively at the spectator in a pose similar to those adopted by Japanese courtesans in popular prints. The Japanese Girl is imbued with a general sense of sexual innuendo, of the kind admired by devotees of Salon art.
The second Impressionist exhibition attracted wider review coverage than the first, and on the whole critical comment was slightly more favourable. Inevitably there were the usual vicious attacks from critics such as Albert Wolff, who described Renoir's Nude in the Sunlight ( as a 'mass of flesh in the process of decomposition, with green and violet spots which denote the state of complete putrefaction of a corpse.' Nevertheless; complimentary reviews appeared in left-wing papers such as Le Rappel, La Republique frangaise and La Presse. The English magazine The Academy carried a favourable review by Philippe Burty; and the New York Tribune published an appreciative, although ill-informed, article by the writer Henry James, which compared the Impressionists with the Pre-Raphaelites.

Although attendance figures do not seem to have been very high, the group was able to pay Durand-Ruel 3000 francs for renting the gallery. They were also able to repay the exhibitors the 1500 francs each had advanced, and in addition distributed a dividend of 3 francs.

Nude in the Sunlight

This work had a mixed reception when shown at the second Impressionist exhibition. Warmly praised by some critics, it aroused the venomous contempt of Albert WolfF, critic for Le Figaro, which damned it in the eyes of the contemporary public. Altogether a striking composition, the backgound emphasizes the remarkable rendering of the effect of dappled sunlight filtering through the foliage, with the light dissolving the outline of the girl's face. The model was Anna Leboeuf, who died at the age of 23.
The poet Stephane Mallarme (1842 98) became an active defender of the Impressionists. His apartment on the rue de Rome in the Batignolles Quarter acted as a lively centre of Parisian cultural life, and he enjoyed a close relationship with Degas, Manet and Renoir. This extract is from an article written in English for the Art Monthly Review in London:

Portrait of Stephane Mallarme

When Manet painted this portrait, Mallarme was 34, ten years his junior. The poet looked up to the painter, not only as a hero of the avant-garde, but also as a onetime friend of Baudelaire, whose works had so much influenced him. This work was painted in Manet's studio — the Japanese-style hanging behind him is the same as that in Nana.
The search after truth, peculiar to modern artists, which enables them to see nature, and reproduce her, such as she appears to pure and just eyes, must lead them to adopt air almost exclusively as their medium, or at all events to work in it freely and without restraint; there should at least be in the revival of such a medium, if nothing more, an incentive to a new manner of painting. This is the result of our reasoning, and the end I wish to establish. As no artist has on his palette a transparent and neutral colour answering to open air, the desired effect can only be obtained by lightness or heaviness of touch, or by the regulation of tone. Now Manet and his school use simple colour, fresh, or lightly laid on, and their results seem to have been attained at the first stroke, so that the ever-present light blends with and vivifies all things. As to the details of the picture, nothing should be absolutely fixed in order that we may feel that the bright gleam which lights the picture, or the diaphanous shadow which veils it are only seen in passing, and just when the spectator beholds the represented, which being composed of a harmony of reflected and ever-changing lights, cannot be supposed always to look the same, but palpitates with movement, light, and life.

STEPHANE MALLARME, 'The Impressionists and Edouard Manet', Art Monthly Review and Photographic Portfolio, September 30th, 1876

Frontispiece by Manet to Mallarme's L'Apres-midi d'unfaune,
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