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
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
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
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
Sisley takes a studio in the same building as Bazille and
10th Renoir paints The Engaged Couple
during a visit to Chailly.
The Engaged Couple
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
29th Monet describes his desperate financial
situation in a letter to Bazille, and implies that he has
tried to drown himself.
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
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
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
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
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
Such tradesmen often gave artists commissions to
execute at home.
Guillaumin and Pissarro endeavour to eke out a living by
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.
RENOIR AND LISE TREHOT
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
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
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
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
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
The composition and atmosphere owe something to
Manet, and something to Whistler's The White
REACTIONS TO RENOIR'S 'LISE WITH A PARASOL'
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
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
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.
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
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
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.