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 Falls Foul of the Censor

Manet is fully aware that his decision to paint the execution of Emperor Maximilian — a controversial episode from recent political history — is unlikely to win the approval of the authorities. He therefore is not surprised when the Salon refuses to exhibit it. At the same time, however, he craves official recognition and doesn't withdraw 'The Balcony'from the exhibition.

Manet's painting of The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian is not accepted at the Salon for political reasons, and his lithograph of the same subject is banned by the censor.

29th Sisley's second child, Jeanne-Adele, is born.

The Belgian art dealer Arthur Stevens introduces Eva Gonzales to Manet, who takes her on as his only pupil.
The Ministry of Fine Arts decrees that artists who have had pictures hung in the Salon at any time are now entitled to vote for two-thirds of the jury.

Portrait of Eva Gonzales

The daughter of a well-known novelist, Eva Gonzales was a talented but unenterprising painter, who became Manet's only pupil. Berthe Morisot related that Manet repainted the head of this portrait forty times. Both in pose and treatment, the work has an air of eighteenth-century artifice.
4th La Tribune frangaise publishes an article by Zola virulently attacking the censorship of Manet's lithograph of the execution of Emperor Maximilian.

9th Degas visits Brussels and is offered a contract by Arthur Stevens.


1st Durand-Ruel founds the Revue internationale de t'art et de la cunosite.

Pissarro paints in Louveciennes.
Cezanne is living in Paris. He meets nineteen-year-old Hortense Fiquet, who becomes his mistress.


1st Opening of the Salon.

Monet and Cezanne have all their submissions rejected.
Degas' Portrait of Mme G. (Josephine Gaujelin) is hung, but not his portrait of Mme Camus.
Among the other works accepted are Bazille's View of the Village, though he has a nude rejected;
Manet's The Balcony and Lunch in the Studio;
Pissarro's The Hermitage at Pontoise;
and Renoir's Study in Summer (a study of Lise, sometimes known as La Bohemienne).
Morisot does not submit.

Lunch in the Studio

This scene in the artist's studio, in which the figures have no interaction, remains one of Manet's most enigmatic works. This might in part be due to the fact that the boy depicted is Leon LeenhofF, who, although passed off as the brother of Manet's wife Suzanne, was almost certainly their son - born eleven years before their marriage. The female figure is clearly a maid, and in the background is Auguste Rousselin, a painter and pupil of Couture. The painting was exhibited at the Salon of 1869.

Monet writes to the writer and critic Arsene Houssaye asking if he would like to buy some of his paintings
'before they are taken by the bailiffs.'
Renoir, in straitened circumstances, stays with his parents at their home at Voisins- Louveciennes. He travels almost daily to visit Monet, who is living at St-Michel near Bougival. Both artists paint La Grenouillere (The Froggery).
Manet and his family holiday at Boulogne — where they are visited by Degas, who has been working in pastels at Etretat and Villers-sur-Mer.

30th Van Gogh, aged 16, becomes an employee of the Goupil art gallery in The Hague.

Paintings by Renoir, priced 100 francs each, are on display in Charpentier's art shop at 8 boulevard Montmartre - the same address is used by Pissarro in his submissions to the Salon.

La Grenouillere

La Grenouillere was a popular bathing place on Croissy Island, a short walk from Bougival. An entrepreneur named Seurin had moored two converted barges there, which provided dining and dancing facilities. A footbridge connected the island with a small circular islet, called the Camembert because of its shape.
Monet produced two views of the footbridge and one of the islet itself.

La Grenouillere

The paintings of La Grenouillere by Renoir and Monet mark a significant stage in the evolution of both artists in their efforts to capture an impression of the natural scene. Liberated from academic convention by the fact that these are in a sense 'sketches', the free, seemingly erratic brushstrokes reproduce perfectly the sparkle of the water, the light on the trees and the movement of the boats.

Whereas Renoir focuses upon the islet, so placing emphasis on the figures, Monet adopts a more distant viewpoint that allows him to highlight the texture of the water, a subject that endlessly intrigued him. Renoir painted four versions of La Grenouillere -one of the islet, two of the river bank, and one of the footbridge connecting Croissy Island to the islet.

Manet Sketching

In this drawing of Manet, Bazille captures much of his friend's personality, so eloquently described by the critic and playwright Armand Silvcstre: 'This revolutionary - the word is not too strong — had the manners of a perfect gentleman. With his gaudy trousers, short jackets, a flat-brimmed hat set on the back of his head, and always with his impeccable suede gloves, Manet had nothing of the bohemian in him, and was in no way bohemian. He had the ways of a dandy.'

Manet's resolution to paint the execution of the Emperor Maximilian clearly reveals the tensions that existed between two sides of his character - the rebellious and the ambitious. The event which it depicts was the tragic sequel to the inept machinations of Napoleon III. For political and economic reasons, the Emperor had been determined to install the Archduke Maximilian, brother of the Austrian Emperor Franz-Josef, as Emperor of Mexico (hitherto a republic), which had been 'pacified' by a French expeditionary force between 1861 and 1863. When Mexico City fell to the French, the Republicans took to the hills and a pro-French puppet government invited Maximilian to become Emperor. He accepted, but only on condition that the French retained an army of 24,000

Manet had in fact emphasized his political intention. In the first version the firing squad was dressed in Mexican costume. In later versions they are wearing what are virtually French Army uniforms. He even persuaded his friend Commandant Lejosne to 'lend' him a platoon of soldiers to serve as models.

But Manet was not solely motivated by political concerns. He had always wanted to paint a large historical painting of the kind that would normally have appealed to the Salon jury. Moreover, he was the only Impressionist who consistently submitted works to the Salon, and this craving for official recognition was possibly one of the reasons why he never 'compromised' himself by exhibiting at any of the Impressionist exhibitions. In the preface to the catalogue of his one-man exhibition in 1867 Manet had explicitly stated that he 'never wished to protest', the clear inference being that he wanted to avoid alienating the official art world. Indeed, some years later he tried to secure a commission to decorate the Hotel de Ville when it was being rebuilt after the Commune. He also longed for the Legion of Honour - and when he eventually received it, complained that it had arrived too late.

The Execution of the
Emperor Maximilian

Manet produced three oil paintings and a lithograph of the execution of the Emperor. Although the key compositional elements did not vary significantly in these works, they became successively anti-Napoleonic in their treatment of the theme. In this, the first version, the firing squad's uniform is blatantly Mexican (observe their wide-bottomed trousers and the hat of the man to the right of the squad), and the figure of the Emperor as victim is indistinct.

The Execution of the
Emperor Maximilian

Only three fragments of Manet's second oil painting have survived, but it is thought to have been the basis for this lithograph. Maximilian and his two Mexican generals are shown linking hands as they face the firing squad, who are now wearing what appear to be French uniforms. A wall has also been introduced, behind which can be seen the crosses and tombstones of a cemetery. The government censor refused to allow this lithograph to be sold, despite its having no title - thus prompting Zola to write an impassioned attack on censorship in La Tribune franfaise on February 4th.

The Execution of the
Emperor Maximilian

In this, the final version of the painting, Manet's political intention is even more clear. The Emperor stands 'Christ-like' between the two generals, his sombrero tipped backward to form a 'halo', whilst the Mexican peasants behind the cemetery wall look on in horror. Finally, the soldiers' uniform with its kepi, white leather belt and tapered trousers, is French.

Berthe Morisot did not enter any work for the 1869 Salon, but described her reactions to the exhibition in a letter to her mother:

I need hardly tell you that the first thing I did was to go to Room M [where Manet's The Balcony, which featured her portrait was hanging]. There I found Manet with his hat on, standing in bright sunshine, and looking dazed. He begged me to go and look at the painting, as he did not dare move a step.

The Balcony

Loosely based on Goya's Majas on the Balcony, this painting was shown at the Salon of 1869, where it attracted a good deal of contumely, such as the caricature by Bertall which first appeared in Le Journal amusant on May 15th, 1869 (right). The figures are: Berthe Morisot (seated); Antome Guillemet, an academic painter of landscapes; and Fanny Glaus, a young violinist. Barely \isible in the background, bearing a ewer, is the figure of Leon Leenhoff, Manet's putative son.

I have never seen a face as expressive as his; he was laughing at one moment, and looking worried at the next, assuring everybody that his picture was no good, and then adding in the same breath that it was bound to be a success. I think he has a very charming temperament, which I greatly like.

His works give the impression of a wild, or even an unripe fruit. I do not dislike them, though I prefer his portrait of Zola.

I myself look more strange than ugly. It seems that people are using the phrase femme fatale' about the painting...

Degas has a very pretty painting [Portrait of Mme G.] of a very ugly woman in black, with a hat and a cashmere shawl falling from her shoulders. The background is that of a very light interior, showing a corner of a mantelpiece in half-tones. It is very subtle and distinguished. Antonin Proust's entries look very well, despite the fact that they are badly hung. Corot is very poetic, as usual. I think that he has spoiled the sketch we saw at home by working too much on it in his studio.

Portrait of Joséphine Gaujelin

Josephine Gaujelin was a ballet-dancer at the Opera (where the archives record her name, correctly spelt, as Josephine Gozelin). She also features in the centre of Degas' The Dance Class of 1871.

The tall Bazille has painted something that is very good [View of the Village]. It is a little girl in a light dress, seated in the shade of a tree, with a glimpse of the village in the background. There is much light and sun in it. He has tried to do what we have often attempted - a figure in the outdoor light - and he seems to have been successful.

View of the Village

Berthe Morisot was not alone in appreciating this painting at the Salon of 1869. Shortly after the exhibition opened, Bazille wrote to his parents: 'I have received compliments from M. Puvis de Chavannes, which flattered me a lot.'