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)
The Realist Impulse

Most of the artists have works accepted by the Salon this year. Their submissions vary tremendously in technique and subject matter, being connected only by a shared concern with contemporary life. Renoir's 'Lise with a Parasol' - described by one critic as 'the fat woman daubed in white' - attracts attention because of the freshness of the image and the directness of Renoir's brushwork.

Bazille and Renoir move to a studio at 9 rue de la Paix (renamed rue de la Condamine later in the year) - near the Guerbois, a cafe popular with progressive artists and writers.

Zola sits for Manet.
Cezanne submits an application for permission to copy paintings in the Louvre.
Gauguin enlists in the French navy and joins the cruiser Jerome Napoleon.

Renoir is commissioned to decorate Prince Georges Bibesco's house at 22 boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg through Charles Le Coeur (brother of his friend Jules Le Coeur), who had been the architect. He paints two ceilings after the style of Tiepolo and Fragonard.

22nd Degas enrols as a copyist at the Louvre for the last time.

Sisley takes a studio in the same building as Bazille and Renoir.

10th Renoir paints The Engaged Couple during a visit to Chailly.

The Engaged Couple
c. 1868

The couple portrayed here were thought to be Sisley and his mistress Marie-Adelaide-Eugenie Lescouezec, by whom he had a son in June 1867. More recent opinion, however, is inclined towards the idea that the woman is Renoir's favourite model Lise Trehot.


1st Opening of the Salon.

Among the works hung are Manet's Portrait of Ernile Zolla and Young Woman with a Parrot, Renoir's Lise with a Parasol, which is greatly praised by the critics; Bazille's Flower Piece and Portrait of the Family, another version of The Artist's Family on a Terrace near Montpellier, which had been rejected the previous year; Ships Coming Out of the Harbour at Le Havre by Monet, whose other works have been rejected; Cote du Jallais and The Hermitage at Pontoise by Pissarro; Chestnut Trees at St-Cloud by Sisley; Ros-bas, Finistere by Morisot; and Portrait of Mile Eugenie Fiocre in the Ballet 'La Source' by Degas.

10th Cezanne goes to Aix-en-Provence, where he remains for the rest of the year.

This engraving of the Salon of 1868 shows how closely the exhibits were crowded together.

Large paintings were generally hung above smaller ones.


29th Monet describes his desperate financial situation in a letter to Bazille, and implies that he has tried to drown himself.

The Luncheon

When Monet produced this painting depicting a comfortable bourgeois interior he was enjoying a respite from poverty thanks to his new patron, Louis-Joachim Gaudibert. Seated at the table are Monet's mistress, Camille Doncieux, and their son Jean.


Berthe Morisot and her sister are introduced to Manet by Fantin-Latour while they are copying a work by Rubens in the Louvre.

15th Manet wins a silver medal for The Dead Man at an exhibition in Le Havre.

Renoir's parents move to the neighbourhood of Louveciennes, but he remains at Ville d'Avray. Manet makes a two-day trip to London, where he hopes to exhibit.

Berthe Morisot, Fanny Claus and Guillemet pose on the balcony of Manet's studio in the rue Guyot for The Balcony - which will be exhibited at the Salon in 1869.

1st Zola decides to dedicate his novel Madeleine Ferat to Manet.

Monet receives a silver medal from the Amis de l'Art in Le Havre and secures a new patron, Louis-Joachim Gaudibert, a local manufacturer and amateur painter.

Poster, with a lithograph by Manet,
for Champfleury's book of cat stories.

17th Publication of Manet's lithographic poster for Les Chats by Champfleury the pseudonym used by Jules Husson a defender of Realism and close friend of Courbet who figures in Manet's Music in the Tuilenes Gardens and Fantin-Latour's Homage to Delacroix.
The book includes an illustration by Manet.

30th Manet is introduced to the radical politician Leon Gambetta at the Cafe de Londres.

Portrait of Pissarro Painting a Blind
с. 1868

Although it was lack of money that forced Guillaumin and Pissarro to take up painting blinds, the occupation was not so demeaning as it may seem.

In fact it was quite common for artists to supplement their earnings by doing this kind of work, and it could require considerable skill.

Renoir, for instance, had at one time worked for a M. Gilbert who sold 'blinds of all sorts', including 'religious blinds, perfect imitations of stained glass for churches... monumental and artistic blinds'.

Such tradesmen often gave artists commissions to execute at home.

Guillaumin and Pissarro endeavour to eke out a living by painting blinds.
Guillaumin paints a portrait of Pissarro at work .
Monet is happily living at Etretat (a fishing village not far from Le Havre) with his mistress, Camille Doncieux, and their son Jean. Manet asks Monet whether he would like to become a member of the circle of artists and writers who meet at the Cafe Guerbois. Monet invites Renoir and Sisley to join the group.

Manet shows The Spanish Singer and Boy with a Sword at an exhibition of the Societe Artistique des Bouches-du-Rhone in the hope of selling them, but no sale results.


One of Renoir's closest friends after leaving the Ecole des Beaux-Arts was Jules Le Coeur, an architect and amateur painter, whose brother Charles secured a commission for Renoir to decorate the house of Prince Georges Bibesco.

In 1863 Jules, who was nine years older than Renoir, decided to give up architecture and devote himself entirely to painting.

Two years later he took a house and studio, where Renoir often painted, at Marlotte in the Forest of Fontainebleau.

Around this time Le Coeur, whose wife had died in 1863, embarked on a love affair with Clemence Trehot. by whom he had a daughter.

Clemence's father had been postmaster of Ecquevilly, a small country town, and moved to Paris with his family when the job was abolished.

Renoir became acquainted with Clemence and her seventeen-year-old sister Lise in 1865, and for eight years the Trehot sisters and the Le Coeurs were to play an important role in his life Lise becoming his favourite model and probably his mistress.

It was a time of great productivity for Renoir, and Lise posed for nearly all his most important works of the period.

She appears in Lise with a Parasol, Girl with a Bird and Lise Holding a Bunch of Wild Flowers, all painted in 1867; Lise Sewing and The Gypsy Girl (both 1868); Bather with a Griffon, A Woman of Algeria and Lise with a White Shawl (all 1870); and Parisian Women in Algerian Dress (1872).

In the year Renoir painted that last picture Lise married a young architect, Georges Briere de 1'Isle, and her marriage brought to an end a most fruitful relationship.

Lise kept the paintings that Renoir had given her, but destroyed all their correspondence. She outlived him by five years, dying in 1924.
Lise with a Parasol

This romantic portrait, which gave Renoir his first success at the Salon, was also one of the first he painted of Lise Trehot. Zola described it as a successful exploration of the 'modern' Lise, he felt, was 'one of our wives, or rather our mistresses'.
The composition and atmosphere owe something to Manet, and something to Whistler's The White Girl .
The other painting I wish to speak of is that which M. Henri [sic] Renoir has called 'Lise', and which represents a young woman in a white dress, sheltering beneath a parasol. This 'Lise' seems to me the sister of the 'Camille' ofM. Monet. She is shown facing us, coming out of the trees, her supple body balanced, cooling herself from the boiling afternoon heat. She is one of our wives, or rather our mistresses, painted with great frankness and an appropriate investigation of the modern world.

EMILE ZOLA, L'Evenement, March 24th, 1868

I discovered in the furthest salon, the one known as the 'Room of the Outcasts', the figure of a fat woman daubed in white, labelled simply 'Lise', whose author M. R. (I trust he will allow me to designate him only by his initials) was clearly no longer even inspired by the great example of M. Courbet, but by the curious models ofM. Manet. And this is how the demise of the Realist school, as it moves from imitation to imitation, becomes more and more inevitable. So be it!

FERDINAND DE LASTERIE, ['Opinion nationale, June 20th, 1868

M. Manet is already a master apparently, since he has some imitators, amongst whom must be included M. Renoir, who has painted, under the title of Lise', a woman of natural grandeur walking in the park. This painting captures the attention of connoisseurs, as much by the strangeness of its effect as by the justness of its tone. This is what, in the language of the Realists, is called 'a fine touch of colour'.

MARIUS CHAUMELIN, La Presse, June 23rd, 1868

Caricature of Emile Zola by Le Bourgeois entitled 'The Experimental Novel', showing the novelist and art critic in the act of spattering a canvas with excrement.
The title page ol Mes Haines (My Hates), the collection of 'literary and artistic discourses' by Zola published in 1880, which included the series of articles rejected by L'Evenement in 1866.
The Lise' of M. Renoir completes an odd trinity that started with the very strange, expressive and notorious 'Olympia'. In the wake of Manet, Monet was soon to create his 'Camille', the young girl in the green dress putting on her gloves. Here now is 'Lise', the most demure of them all. Here we have the charming Parisian girl in the Bois, alert, mocking and laughing, playing the 'grande dame', somewhat gauchely savouring the shade of the wood for all the diversions that may be had there: the dancing, the open-air cafe, the fashionable restaurant, the amusing dining room fashioned from a distorted tree.

Lise's hair is adorned with a dainty straw hat. She wears a white dress, drawn in at the waist with a black sash. A parasol shades her face. She stops amidst the forest trees in a ray of sunlight, as if waiting for a friend. It is an original image. The painting has great charm, beautifully rendered effects, a delicate range of tones, a general impression that is unified, and clear and well-conceived lighting. The art that has gone into this painting seems simple, but in fact it is very unusual and very interesting. Given a subject whose charm is its light, it could hardly have been executed with greater clarity. The sunlit whites are delicious. Wherever the eye wanders, it is enchanted by the most delicate of nuances and a very distinctive lightness of touch.

All praise to a joyful canvas made by a painter with a future, an observer who is as responsive to the picturesque as he is careful of reality. This painting deserves to be singled out. By an inconceivable error, which I would prefer to think of as ignorance, she has suffered the fate of the rejected work [although hung, the painting did not win a prize]. At the Salon, with its array of marketable objects, such work stands by its art, its taste and its exceptional character, which command our attention and our study. It was obvious to all the painters, but not to the jury.

ZACHARIE ASTRUC, L'Etendard, June 27th, 1868

MANET Portrait of Emile Zola 1868
EMILE ZOLA Novelist and critic
Defender of lost or unpopular causes ranging from Impressionism to Captain Dreyfus, novelist and journalist of distinction. Emile Zola (1840-1902) was born in the town of Aix-en-Provence, where he went to school with Cezanne. He came to Paris in the early 1860s and, after unsuccessful attempts to become a playwright, obtained a job with the publishing house of Hachette, then became the literary editor of the radical weekly L'Evenement.

Thanks to his friendship with Cezanne, Zola was able to keep abreast of current art controversies. In 1863 he visited the Salon des Refuses, and in 1866 wrote an enthusiastic defence of Manet in L'Evenement, complaining bitterly about the artist's rejection from the Salon of that year. This article was published as a pamphlet with additions, some suggested by the painter - which was on sale at Manet's personal exhibition. In February 1868 Manet painted his well-known portrait of the writer, and for the next decade Zola was to be an inveterate defender of the group of artists who frequented the Cafe Guerbois. In 1880 he published a selection of his art criticism - with the aggressive title Mes Raines (My Hates).

Zola's visual sensibilities were very largely moulded by his preoccupations as a Realist writer - applying to the de scnption of human life a kind of scientific rigour based on material circumstances and facts, which he accumulated
with dedicated enthusiasm. After the war of 1870 and the failure of the Commune, he embarked on Rougon-Macquart: histoire naturelle et sociale d'unefamille sous le second Empire, a massive cyclical work running to some twenty volumes, completed in 1893, which brought him fame and wealth. Because a concern with contemporary life was part of the Impressionists' approach, Zola regarded them as the visual equivalent of the literary Realists indeed, in his reviews he frequently referred to the Impressionists as Realists and tended to overemphasize their credentials as exponents of this doctrine.

By 1879, when he was acting as Paris correspondent for the Russian magazine Viestnik Europi (Le Message de I'Europe, Zola's enthusiasm for the Impressionists had begun to wane. 'The tragedy', he wrote in his review of the 1880 Salon, 'is that there is not one artist of the group who has forcibly and definitively expressed the formula which all of them share and which is scattered through all their individual works.'

From that moment the relationship between Zola and the Impressionists steadily deteriorated, until finally in 1886 it reached breaking point when he published L'Oeuvre, a novel about the Parisian art world in which the principal character a frustrated, unsuccessful, embittered and creatively impotent artist - was clearly recognizable as a combination of Cezanne and Manet.