The avant-garde: Realism, Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
Despite the brief dismantling of the Royal Academy during the French Revolution, art remained an extension of the power of the French State which regularly purchased art that it favored (often art that supported its political objectives). Through the Royal Academy (originally been founded by Louis XIV), the state extended its reach to the official exhibitions (salons) and to matters of style and subject matter through the École des Beaux Arts (School of Fine Arts). These were not just the official institutions of art, they were, in essence, the only institutions available for living artists to train and to make their work known. This tutorial looks at a crucial moment for painting, on the eve of the Revolution of 1848. We also examine one of the great State commissions of the Second Empire, the Opera House.