June 10

Professor Anne-Catherine in front of Courbet's Burial at Ornans

Today we had a lecture at The Musée d’Orsay by Art Historian Anne Catherine Abecassis.  Anne Catherine situated us in this former train station, built for the Universal Exposition of 1900, at the advent of the electric engine. In the 1980’s the outdated rail station was converted into a museum and it now displays art works created between 1848 and 1914.  Anne Catherine’s lecture grounded us in the beginnings of the modern transformation of the visual arts. She showed us examples of traditional notions of aesthetics, painting and beauty during the 1860s and then compared these to the works or Courbet and Manet whose canvasses were creating a sensation with their painting style and subject matter. Anne Catherine used Courbet’s “Burial at Ornan” and Manet’s “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe” to elucidate the transformation that was taking place in painting.

Manet's Le déjeuner sur l'herbe

These two artists were the launching point for our discussion and lecture on how the rules and techniques of painting were moving away from the academy and evolving into a modern form. 

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