It’s Tuesday – Where Are You?/Teaser Tuesday

tuesdaywhereareyou

Today I’m in Paris in the 1860s with the Impressionists. Paris is overrun with art students  wanting to exhibit their paintings in the annual exhibition in the Salon des Beaux Arts. Today it’s 17 May 1863 and everyone is crowded into the exhibition of rejected works called the Salon des Refuses, where people are shocked by the paintings, jeering and hooting with laughter. But the painting that has completely stolen the show is Edouart Manet’s Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe.

It’s Tuesday – where are you? is hosted by raidergirl3.

Now the teaser (tteaser-tuesdayo see more teasers click on the button). The ‘official rules’ are to select a page at random in the book you’re currently reading and pick two sentences between lines 7 and 12. My teaser is a bit longer than two sentences, not random and not from lines 7 – 12. It’s from page 28 of Sue Roe’s The Private Lives of the Impressionists. 

Edouard Manet, who had exhibited at the Salon before, was this year exhibiting a monstrosity. Everyone stared in horror at Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe, an outrageous depiction of a naked woman, brazen and unashamed, staring straight out at the viewer and seated on a riverbank between two clothed men. Behind her, a second, lightly draped woman, up to her ankles in water, stoops in the distance. This bold display was shocking enough in itself, but what really astounded the public was the modernity of the scene. The men were grouped casually, in modern dress: the painting seemed to be about the present day.

It wasn’t the nudity that was shocking, but the casual style and the fact that the painting looks so real. It was seen as “an obscene, provacative taunt, doubly shocking by virtue of its ordinariness.” The critics complained that Manet appeared to have no sense of harmony, light or shade and thought that the colours were brash and harsh – garish and jarring!

I don’t think so – what do you think?

le-dejeuner-sur-lherbe-manet

11 comments

  1. That’s always been one of my favorite paintings, and I think it’s still “astounding” more that a century later – even a bit shocking. What a great teaser. And another book goes on the wish list.

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  2. I think the colours were as they were in order to draw the eye to the nude women. It seems lke a tunnel of light, the females creating this aspect.

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  3. It’s definitely shocking, all the more because the two men are fully clothed. But I think it’s a brilliant work of art, and I think he’s a genius for creating art like this! =)

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  4. I’ve always been intrigued by this painting. Like most everyone else, I don’t find it obscene, but rather confusing. I want to know the story of the nude lady and the two fully dressed gentelmen. What is the lady in the background doing? I think this is a painting that is crying out to be written about like the Girl with the Pearl Earring.

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  5. The colors don’t seem harsh by today’s standards. It’s more puzzling than anything else – men all buttoned up and women with nothing on? Very good teaser. Adding the picture added to the tease.

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  6. Here is my theory or story behind the painting. Mr Manet was in the mood for some figure painting on location. He invites two of his favorite models to have a picnic in the forest by a brook. The session starts with only one of the model. The other is somewhat undressed waiting for her turn and wanders in the background. The posing model is starting to get hungry. The rolls will spill out of the basket and she will have a bite of one. The plot thickens when two of Manet’s friends (also painters) happening to take a stroll on a beautiful sunny day through the forest come upon the “Tableau” and Manet invites them for a chatt and decides to include them in the painting. The other model is happy cooling of in the brook and has not taken knowledge yet of the arriving companions….Et Voila!
    What do you think, there’s nothing notty about that, just circonstances.
    Thank you Margaret for keeping our mind alive.

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  7. What a wonderful teaser! I absolutely love that you inlcuded a picture of the actual painting. 🙂 It is a beautiful painting, but does stir a lot of questions – why aren’t the men in a similar state? Are they on a picnic? Oh. . . I took an art appreciation class in college and loved it!

    Here’s my Teaser! ~ Wendi

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