Impressionism Timeline  
  Impressionism * Neo-Impressionism * Post-Impressionism  

  1870 1880 1890
  1871 1881 1891
  1872 1882 1892
1863 1873 1883 1893
1864 1874 1884 1894
1865 1875 1885 1895
1866 1876 1886 1896
1867 1877 1887 1897
1868 1878 1888 1898
1869 1879 1889 1899
Impressionism Timeline
Impressionism * Neo-Impressionism * Post-Impressionism
Camille Pissarro
Edouard Manet (1832-83) Edgar Degas (1834-1917) Alfred Sisley (1839-99)

Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)
Claude Monet (1840-1826) Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Frederic Bazille (1841-70)

Armand Guillaumin

Berthe Morisot (1841-95)

Federico Zandomeneghi (1841-1917)

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) Giuseppe de Nittis
Max Liebermann
Gustave Caillebotte (1848-94) Peder Severin Kroyer (1851-1909) Vincent van Gogh
Charles Angrand
Henri-Edmond Cross (1856-1910)

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)
Childe Hassam 

Georges Seurat (1859-91)
Louis Anquetin
(1861- 1932)
Theo van Rysselberghe (1862-1926) Paul Signac (1863-1935) Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) Emile Bernard (1868-1941)
Manet's Personal Exhibition

Capitalizing on the vast number of people expected to visit the Universal Exhibition, Manet and Courbet each erect a pavilion in the Place de l'Alma, near one of the entrances, in order to display their own work. Despite widespread publicity and the amount of money lavished on the pavilions, both exhibitions are no more than a partial success and neither receive much critical acclaim.

Bazille and Renoir rent a studio together at 20 rue Visconti, near St-Germain-des-Pres.
Sisley takes an apartment in the Batignolles quarter.

1st Zola publishes an enthusiastic article about Manet in L'Artiste.

3rd Manet asks his mother for money from his inheritance so he can stage a one-man show near the Champ-de-Mars, where the Universal Exhibition is to be held. She subsequently advances him 28,305 francs to cover the cost of building a temporary gallery.

View of the Universal Exhibition
Manet painted this panoramic view of the Universal Exhibition from a point in the rue Franklin near the Troca-dero. The balloon from which Nadar took photographs of the city can be seen in the top right-hand corner. On the left are the Pont de l'Alma and the Pont d'lena, leading into the exhibition grounds.

Cover of one of the many illustrated publications produced to promote the Universal Exhibition.

12th Ingres retrospective at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of special interest to Degas, who regards Ingres as one of the greatest exponents of the classical tradition.

17th Manet sits for Fantin-Latour.


5th Renoir's Diana , Bazille's The Artist's Family on a Terrace near Montpellier and works by Cezanne, Pissarro and Sisley are rejected by the Salon jury.


  RENOIR Diana

Although Renoir had originally intended this painting to be 'nothing more than a study of a nude', he thought that by adding a bow and the carcass of a deer it would become less 'improper'.

It was painted specifically for the Salon of 1867 -but strangely, m view of its academic nature, it was rejected by the jury.

30th The rejected artists forward a petition to the Minister of Fine Arts demanding another Salon des Refuses.

In a letter to his parents, Bazille mentions that he is thinking of trying to organize an independent exhibition.

Berthe Morisot exhibits at Cadart's gallery.

2nd Opening of the Salon.

Fantin-Latour's Portrait of Edouard Manet and two paintings by Degas each entitled Family Portrait - are hung, but Monet's Women in the Garden is rejected. In view of Monet's poverty and the fact that his mistress, Camille Doncieux, is pregnant, Bazille buys the painting for 2500 francs payable in instalments of 50 francs a month.

8th Courbet's 'Pavilion of Realism', devoted to his own work, opens in the Place de Г Alma near the Universal Exhibition. It receives plenty of publicity, but little critical acclaim.

Courbet's 'Pavilion of Realism'. Like Manet's pavilion,
it was caricatured in Le Journal amusant.


3rd Opening of the Universal Exhibition.

Some 11 million people flock to see it - but only 98,000 visit the fine-art section, which includes no Impressionist works.

22nd Manet's one-man show opens in a specially built pavilion near the Pont de L'Alma, facing one of the entrances of the Universal Exhibition. He has about fifty works on display, but the exhibition is not a popular success.

30th Manet and Zola reprint Zola's article from L'Artiste in pamphlet form, to sell at Manet's exhibition. It includes a portrait of Manet by Bracquemond and an etching of Olympia.


3rd Sisley paints in Honfleur.

7th Sisley's son Pierre is born to his mistress, Marie-Adelaide-Eugenie Lescouezec.

29th Le Journal amusant devotes two pages of caricatures to Manet's exhibition.

The pavilions erected by Manet and Courbet close to the Universal Exhibition attracted a good deal of satirical attention. These two architectural caricatures by Georges Randon appeared in Le Journal amusant. Courbet's pavilion (left) bears the ironical inscriptions 'To the Temple of Memory' and 'Courbet, Master Painter', while Manet's (far left; is labelled To the Friends of the Old French Vaudeville' and 'Comic Museum'.

30th Morisot departs for Lorient, a Breton port that is one of her favourite painting sites.


15th Manet departs for a holiday in Trouville with his friend Antonin Proust, a journalist, aspiring politician and amateur painter.

25th Monet's son Jean is born to Camille Doncieux in Paris; Monet, who is in a state of great impoverishment, is staying with his parents in Le Havre where Sisley is painting, too.

The Artist's Family on a Terrace near Montpellier

Bazille's family posed for this charming portrait on the terrace of the family home outside Montpellier, where they owned extensive vineyards. Bazille himself is on the extreme left.

Monet joins Bazille and Renoir in their studio at 20 rue Visconti. Manet starts work on a series of politically emotive paintings depicting the execution of the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico.

Bazille at his Easel

This portrait of Bazille intent on painting was probably done in the studio Renoir shared with Monet, Sisley and Bazille (a snow scene by Monet is visible on the wall). A similar portrait of Renoir at his easel was produced by Bazille.

2nd Manet attends Baudelaire's funeral.


FANTIN-LATOUR Portrait of Edouard Manet 1867
In the preface to his catalogue, written with the help of Zacharie Astruc, Manet explained why he had found it necessary" to stage an exhibition of his work:

Official recognition, encouragement and prizes are, in fact, regarded as proofs of talent; the public has been informed, in advance, what to admire, what to avoid, according as to whether the works are accepted or rejected. On the other hand, the artist is told that it is the public's spontaneous reaction to his works which makes them so unwelcome to the various selection committees. In these circumstances the artist is advised to be patient and wait. But wait for what? Until there are no selection committees? He would be much better off if he could make direct contact with the public, and find out its reactions. Today the artist is not saying 'come and see some perfect paintings' but 'come and see some sincere ones'.

It is sincerity which gives to works of art a character which seems to convert them into acts of protest, when all the artist is trying to do is to express his own impressions.

Monsieur Manet has never wished to protest. On the contrary, the protest, which he never expected, has been directed against himself; this is because there is a traditional way of teaching form, techniques and appreciation, and because those who have been brought up to believe in those principles will admit no others, a fact which makes them childishly intolerant. Any works which do not conform to those formulae they regard as worthless. They not only arouse criticism, but provoke hostility, even active hostility. To be able to exhibit is the all important thing, the sine qua поп for the artist, because what happens is that, after looking at a thing for a length of time, what at first seemed unfamiliar, or even shocking, becomes familiar. Gradually it comes to be understood and accepted. Time itself imperceptibly refines and softens the apparent hardness of a picture.

By exhibiting, an artist finds friends and allies in his search for recognition. Monsieur Manet has always recognized talent when he has seen it; he has no intention of overthrowing old methods of painting, or creating new ones. He has merely tried to be himself, and nobody else.

EDOUARD MANET, 'Reasons for Holding a Private Exhibition', 1867
Photograph of the Nouvelle-Athenes, which replaced the Cafe Guerbois as the Impressionists' favourite meeting place around 1877.
George Moore the raffish Irish novelist and haunter of French artistic circles once said: 'He who would know something of my life, must know something about the academy of fine arts. Not the official stupidity you read of in the daily papers, but the real French academy, the cafe.'

Impressionism grew and flourished in cafes, of which there were at least 24,000 in the Paris area. Indeed, establishments such as the Volpini, the Voltaire, the Dome, the Coupole, the Brasserie Lip and the Deux Magots played a central role in the cultural life of the period.

By their very nature the cafes attracted those who were alienated by the anonymity of the modern industrial city, and their attractiveness was enhanced during and after the Second Empire by the wide pavements of the new boulevards created by Baron Haussmann's comprehensive replanning of Paris.

This pen-and-ink drawing made by Manet in 1869 is thought
to show the interior of the Cafe Guerbois.
At first Manet frequented the Cafe de Bade at 23 boulevard des Italiens, but in 1864 he moved into an apartment at 34 boulevard des Batignolles, in the area where Baudelaire, Bazille, Caillebotte, Alphonse Daudet, Fantin-Latour, and later Cezanne, Mallarme, Pissarro and Renoir all lived. By 1866 he had started using the Cafe Guerbois, at 11 rue des Batignolles, where he met his friends most evenings (Thursday being the most popular). In addition to the artists, the circle included writers such as Zola, Duranty, Duret and Armand Silvestre, who in his autobiographical Аи Pays des souvenirs, written in 1892, provided a fascinating account of the Guerbois' golden years. The group of painters who frequented the cafe were dubbed by the critics 'L'Ecole des Batignolles' -and if Impressionism could be said to have a birthplace, the Cafe Guerbois was it. As Monet later recalled, 'Nothing could have been more stimulating than the regular discussions which we used to have there, with their constant clashes of opinion. They kept our wits sharpened, and supplied us with a stock of enthusiasm which lasted us for weeks, and kept us going until the final realization of an idea was accomplished. From them we emerged with a stronger determination and with our thoughts clearer and more sharply defined.'
By 1877, however, the Cafe Guerbois had begun to lose its popularity to the Nouvelle-Athenes in the Place Pigalle. The Nouvelle-Athenes had a distinguished pedigree. Under the Empire it had been frequented by the leading figures of the opposition to Napoleon III men such as Clemenceau, Gourbet, Gambetta, Nadar, Daudet and Castagnary. Two significant icons of Impressionism Degas' The Absinthe Drinker, showing the actress Ellen Andree with Marcellin Desboutin (who had been one of the first habitues), and Manet's George Moore at the Cafe were painted at the Nouvelle-Athenes.

George Moore at the Cafe
1878 or 1879

Situated at the Nouvelles-Athenes this portrait of the Irish writer was roughed out in light brushwork without any preliminary drawing. If intended as a study for a more finished painting, the project must have been abandoned at an early stage.

Among those who frequented the cafe were Renoir, Monet, Pissarro and occasionally Cezanne; the writers Villiers de l'lsle Adam, Ary Renan and Zola's friend Paul Alexis; the musicians Chabrier and Cabaner; and Manet's favourite model, Victorine Meurent, who posed for Olympia and Dejeuner sur I'herbe. The Nouvelle-Athenes also witnessed the schism developing amongst the Impressionists stimulated by Degas, who was often to be found there, supported by his 'gang', which consisted of Forain, Raffaelli, Zandomeneghi and, whenever he wras in Paris, the Florentine critic Diego Martelli. Indeed, Caillebotte complained that Degas was guilty of introducing 'disunity into our midst, and spends all his time haranguing people in the Nouvelle-Athenes.'

By the mid 1880s the Impressionists were beginning to spend more time outside Paris Monet in Giverny, Pissarro in Eragny, Cezanne in Aix-en-Provence, Renoir in Essoyes and elsewhere. As a result, the casual meetings in cafes were supplanted by more organized dinners, held either at the restaurant in the boulevard Voltaire belonging to Eugene Murer where the owner offered his friends free hospitality on Wednesday evenings or at the Cafe Riche in the boulevard des Italiens.

Women on a Cafe Terrace, Evening
In this vignette of cafe night-life, Degas gives particular emphasis to the expression of combined boredom and professional allurement that masks the women's faces.