A More Tolerant Salon
As a result
of complaints about the Salon of 1863, the number of works
rejected by the jury drops by 40 per cent. Manet, Morisot,
Pissarro and Renoir exhibit; but Monet and Bazille make no
submissions, though both are productive, working together in
1st Renoir begins his military training — incumbent on all
French citizens unable to pay for a substitute.
7th Manet poses for Fantin-Latour's Homage to Delacroix
(exhibited at the Salon in May).
FANTIN-LATOUR Homage to Delacroix
When Delacroix died, on August 13th, 1863, Fantin-Latour invited a
number of writers and artists to pose for this group portrait as a
memorial to him. They are, from left to right: (back row) Louis
Cordier, Alphonse Legros, Whistler, Manet, Bracque-mond and Albert
de Balle-roy; (front row) Duranty, Fantin-Latour, Champ-fleury and
4th Louis Martinet's gallery hosts the first exhibition of the
Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, an organization created by
Martinet to boost the credibility of mixed exhibitions.
27th Manet asks for a ten-day extension for his submissions
to the Salon.
Study for a portrait of Manet by Degas
(black chalk, с 1864).
Each witty and sharp-tongued, Manet and Degas
maintained a life-long love-hate relationship.
6th Degas visits Ingres' studio to see an exhibition of his
drawings which are described in the publicity as 'done in the style
of the Old Masters'.
7th Renoir finishes his military training.
12th Bazille goes to Honfieur with Monet and visits the
latter's parents at the nearby village of Ste-Adresse. Bazille finds
them 'charming', and they invite him to spend August with them.
Pissarro paints on the banks of the Marne.
Banks of the Marne
Exhibited at the Salon of 1864, this view of the banks of the Marne
in, winter shows the extent to which Pissarro, despite all his
stylistic experiments, remained under the lingering influence of
Corot, whom he still acknowledged as his master. The He de France
had been Corot's favourite landscape subject, and Pissarro was
preoccupied with the same efforts to depict the play of light on
5th Renoir, described as a pupil of Charles Gleyre, comes tenth
out of 106 candidates in a sculpture and drawing examination at the
Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
7th Cezanne obtains permission to copy Poussin's Shepherds
in Arcadia at the Louvre.
12th Bazille fails his medical exams and decides to become a
22nd Rene Degas, the painter's youngest brother, writes from
Paris to his cousins in America: 'Edgar does an enormous amount of
work without seeming to do so. He has not only talents, but genius.
Will he ever express it?'
Portrait of the Artist with
Evariste de Valernes
с 1864 (unfinished)
This double portrait shows Degas with his friend
Evariste de Valernes, an unsuccessful painter of
noble origin who subsisted mainly by copying famous
Degas' last self-portrait, it was painted in his
studio in the rue Laval.
The poses are reminiscent of those used by popular
photographers of the time, and X-rays have revealed
that originally Degas, like de Valernes, was wearing
a top hat.
Charles Gleyre is overwhelmed by financial difficulties.
Renoir, Monet, Bazille and Sisley leave his studio - shortly
before it closes.
3rd Opening of the Salon.
This year the jury is much more tolerant, the proportion of
rejections having dropped to 30 per cent from 70 per cent in
1863. Works exhibited include Dead Christ and Angels and
Episode from a Bullfight by Manet; Banks of the Marne, and
The Road to Cachalas by Pissarro, who describes himself as
'a pupil of Corot'; and A Souvenir of the Banks of the Oise
and Old Roads at Auvers by Morisot. Renoir has only one
work, La Esmeralda, accepted (which he subsequently
destroys). Meissonier's Napoleon III at the Battle of
Solferino is one of the big successes of the exhibition.
25th Manet departs for a holiday in Boulogne, where
he sketches the Unionist corvette Kearsage,
which is in port there.
2nd Bazille, Monet, Renoir and Sisley paint in the
forest of Fontainebleau. Renoir meets Diaz de la Pena, whose
influence encourages him to lighten his palette.
19th Manet paints the encounter off the French coast
between the Kearsage and the Confederate
20th Pissarro visits his friend the landscape painter
Ludovic Piette at La Roche-Guyon.
27th Manet exhibits The Battle of the Kearsage'
and the 'Alabama' at Cadart's gallery in the rue de
The Battle of the 'Kearsage'
and the 'Alabama '
On June 19th, 1864, a corvette of the United States Navy,
the Kearsage, attacked and sank confederate raider, the
Alabama, off Cherbourg. Manet did not witness the
ecounter, but he had sketched and painted the Kearsage
while it was in port at Boulogne.
Anxious to produce a painting that would appeal to the Salon
jury, he used his own sketches from Boulogne together with
newspaper photographs and drawings in order to create what
one contemporary critic termed 'a picture of war and
Eventually exhibited at the Salon of 1872, it was sold by
Durand-Ruel to the American collector John G. Johnson in
1888 for $1500.
9th Monet departs for Honfleur.
13th Monet writes to Bazille urging him to come to
Monet is joined by Bazille. The two artists work together,
painting coast scenes in the Honfleur and Le Havre area.
They also paint still lifes of flowers.
The Morisots move to 40 rue Villejust (now rue Paul-Valery),
where M. Morisot builds a studio for his daughters in the
5th Manet moves into an apartment at 34 boulevard des
Batignolles, near his favourite cafe, the Cafe de Bade.
Jules and Edmond de Goncourt visit Manet's studio in search
of material for the character of Coriolis in their novel
In his letter of August 26th to Bazille, Monet enthused about the
flowers in the Honfleur area. The influence of Boudin and Jongkind,
who worked with him for a while in 1864, is evident in the rich
impasto of this painting.
LETTERS FROM HONFLEUR
Photograph of the harbour at Honfleur in the 1860s -
the time when
Monet most frequently painted there.
There is something rather moving about the camaraderie of the
young artists, later to be known as the Impressionists, who had
studied under Charles Gleyre - and it was especially strong
between Monet and Bazille. Monet's letters from Honfleur to his
friend in Paris give an indication of the spirit that existed
What on earth can you be doing in Paris in such marvellous
weather, for I suppose it must be just as fine down there? It's
simply fantastic here, my friend, and each day I find something
even more beautiful than the day before. It's enough to drive
one crazy. Damn it man, come on the sixteenth. Get packing and
come here for a fortnight. You'd be far better off; it can't be
all that easy to work in Paris.
Today I have exactly a month left to work in Honfleur, and what
is more my studies are almost done; I've even got some others
back on the go. On the whole, I'm quite content with my stay
here, although my sketches are far from being what I would like.
It really is appallingly difficult to do something which is
complete in every respect, and I think most people are content
with just approximations.
Well, my dear friend, I intend to battle on, scrape off and
start again, since one can do something if one can see and
understand it, and when I look at nature, I feel as if I'll be
able tq paint it all, note it all down - and then you can forget
it once you're working.
All this proves you must think of nothing else. It's on the
strength of observation and reflection that one finds a way.
So we must dig and delve unceasingly.
The popularity of Monet's The Lighthouse of Honfleur (hung at the
Salon of 1865) is
indicated by the fact that this wood engraving of
it appeared in the illustrated annual L'autographe аи Salon.
I had just spent a day at Ste-Adresse when your letter arrived.
It gave me great pleasure, please write nice long ones like that
more often. I hope you're working hard, it is important that you
devote yourself to it wholeheartedly and seriously now that your
family is reconciled to your giving up medicine. I'm still at
St-Simeon; it's such a pleasant place and I'm working hard,
although what I'm doing is far from being what I should like. We
are now quite a crowd here in Honfleur, several painters I did
not know - and very bad ones at that - but we form a very
pleasant little group of our own. Jongkind and Boudin are here,
and we get on extremely well and stick together. Ribot is coming
too; he's planning to paint a fishing boat with figures 'en
plein air'. I'd be interested to see him do it. I'm sorry you're
not here, since there's a good deal to be learnt from such
company, and the landscape is growing more beautiful. It's
turning yellow and becoming more varied, really lovely in fact,
and I think I'm going to be in Honfleur for some time yet.
I must tell you that I'm sending my flower picture to the Rouen
exhibition, there are some really lovely flowers about at this
time. Why don't you do some yourself, since they're an excellent
thing to paint?