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Archive for the ‘Paris Salon’ Category

Friend Zacharie Astruc writes Manet of response to Olympia at Salon opening

In Friends, Paris Salon on May 11, 2010 at 8:42 pm

June 20th, 1865.  The battle has started, it seems. I can see the sparks fly even from here (Fountainbleau).

A few deserters are passing with matches that want to be torches.

Le Charivari, Le Siecle: two real old knockheads, Edouard; it’s hilarious to listen to that infectious, empty, stupid and foolish verbiage from low amateurish minds who don’t even have a tongue. Oh! the glazed look of Texier… And this envious buffoon pretends to be happy? What an ocean Paris is! And how unfortunate to meet those pleasant monsters. I am happy for you, because these riots rejuvenate the mind!

It’s like hardening steel – and it goes without saying, Edouard, that we won’t be leaving Toledo. After these heavy storms, I am expecting rainbows. Let’s hope that those hardy fellows will propose a toast to your mind.

Collect with great care all the pieces of paper that bear your name so that I can make a festoon of them upon my return.

I believe the verses were published. I now stand guard, protecting the royal tent.

I haven’t read anything on the whole group and nothing on Fantin.

Are we really being machine-gunned? If such is our luck, please let me know. Give me the most intimate details of what is going on. Warm regards to our friends. I will let you know how my work is progressing.

Honore Daumier looks at bourgeois looking at Olympia

In Caricatures, Critics, Paris Salon on May 11, 2010 at 8:41 pm
Honore Daumier’s Before The Painting, June 19, 1865

In Le Charivari, June 19, 1865.

“Why the devil is that big red woman in chemise called Olympia?”

“Perhaps it’s the name of the cat.”

Friend Zacherie Astruc writes poem for Olympia

In Friends, Paris Salon on May 11, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Portrait of Zacharie Astruc, by Manet.

Astruc’s Poem attached to portrait of Olympia, 1863.

“When tired of dreaming, Olympia awakens / Spring enters on the arms of the mild black messenger / She is the slave who, like the amorous night / Comes to adorn with flowers the day beautiful to behold / The august young woman is whom ardor is ever wakeful.”

Bertall pokes fun of Manet and his Olympia characters

In Caricatures, Paris Salon, The Black Cat on May 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm

In Le Journal, June 3rd, 1865.

Conclusion:  Monsieur Manet cleans up his cat’s corner, sends his bouquet to Theresa, and his coal-peddler to Batignolles.  The show is over.  If it occurs to him to do a masterpiece next year, it will be talked about in Podunk.

(Note: Theresa was the most popular cafe-concert singer of the day. Batignolles was the section of Paris where the Impressionists met at the Cafe Guerbois. Podunk means the “middle of nowhere.”)

Even Olympia’s cat gets made fun of

In Caricatures, Paris Salon, The Black Cat on May 11, 2010 at 2:32 pm

In unattributed Salon review, June 2nd, 1865.

When the guards have their backs turned, whang!  Monsieur Manet’s cat comes down from the sixth row and arches his back close to Landelle’s Italian lady.  It is quite understandable that he feels the need of steadying himself.  The poor creature!

(Note:  Charles Landelle (1821-1908) painted religious pictures but was particularly known for his paintings of African, Egyptian, Moroccan and Italian women.)

Manet’s work is criticized as unfinished, negligent, and a mistake

In Critics, Paris Salon on May 11, 2010 at 5:54 am

In La France, June 1st, 1865

Each day [Olympia] is surrounded by a crowd of visitors, and in this constantly changing group, reflections and observations are made out loud which spare the picture no part of the truth. Some people are delighted, they think it a joke that they want to look as if they understood; others observe the thing seriously and show their neighbour, here a well-placed tone, and there a hand which is improper, but richly painted; finally one sees painters whose work was rejected by the salon jury this year –and there is the proof that they do exist– standing in front of the picture, beside themselves with spite and indignation. Very probably everyone is right to some extent, and such diverse opinions are authorized by the incredible irregularities of Monsieur Manet’s work. He has shown mere sketches. Yet we are not of the opinion, which is too widespread, that his negligence is a parti pris on his part, a sort of ironic defiance hurled at the jury and the public. The jury would certainly have distinguished a studio jape from an unsatisfactory work of art, and would have closed the doors of the Palais des Champs-Elysées against it. From another point of view, an artist cannot treat the public lightly without compromising his reputation, which sometimes never recovers; and Monsieur Manet, who appears at each exhibition, is certainly pursuing something other than the sad celebrity obtained by such perilous procedures. We prefer to think he has made a mistake. And what is his aim? His canvases are too unfinished for us to possibly tell.

Friend Zacharie Astruc writes Manet of reponse to Olympia at Salon opening, June 1865

In Friends, Paris Salon on April 15, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Zacharie Astruc, artist and pal

The battle has started, it seems. I can see the sparks fly even from here (Fountainbleau).

A few deserters are passing with matches that want to be torches.

Le Charivari, Le Siecle: two real old knockheads, Edouard; it’s hilarious to listen to that infectious, empty, stupid and foolish verbiage from low amateurish minds who don’t even have a tongue. Oh! the glazed look of Texier… And this envious buffoon pretends to be happy? What an ocean Paris is! And how unfortunate to meet those pleasant monsters. I am happy for you, because these riots rejuvenate the mind!

It’s like hardening steel – and it goes without saying, Edouard, that we won’t be leaving Toledo. After these heavy storms, I am expecting rainbows. Let’s hope that those hardy fellows will propose a toast to your mind.

Collect with great care all the pieces of paper that bear your name so that I can make a festoon of them upon my return.

I believe the verses were published. I now stand guard, protecting the royal tent.

I haven’t read anything on the whole group and nothing on Fantin.

Are we really being machine-gunned? If such is our luck, please let me know. Give me the most intimate details of what is going on. Warm regards to our friends. I will let you know how my work is progressing.