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Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting

Tinterow, Gary, and Geneviève Lacambre, with Deborah L. Roldán, Juliet Wilson-Bareau, Jeannine Baticle, Marcus B. Burke, Ignacio Cano Rivero, Mitchell A. Codding, Trevor Fairbrother, María de los Santos García Felguera, Stéphane Guégan, Ilse Hempel Lipschutz, Dominique Lobstein, Javier Portús Pérez, H. Barbara Weinberg, and Matthias Weniger (2003)

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Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (17)
Exhibition
Manet/Velazquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting

This exhibition examines the impact of Spanish painting on French artists, presenting some 150 paintings by masters of Spain's Golden Age—Velázquez, Murillo, Ribera, El Greco, and Zurbarán—as well as masterpieces by the nineteenth-century French artists they influenced, among them Delacroix, Courbet, Millet, Degas, and, most notably, Manet.

Napoleon's Spanish campaigns (1808–14) marked a turning point in the French perception of Spanish painting, which, up to that time, had been virtually ignored and poorly represented in the French royal collections. Yet, only two decades later, in 1838, King Louis Philippe inaugurated the Galerie Espagnole at the Louvre, placing on view his extraordinary collection of hundreds of Spanish paintings. Although this collection was sold in 1853, these paintings left an indelible impression in France and by the 1860s, the French taste for Spanish painting was perceptible at each Paris Salon. The exhibition also includes works by American artists such as Sargent, Eakins, Whistler, and Cassatt, who studied in France but learned to paint like Spaniards. At the core of the exhibition is the "Spanish" work of Édouard Manet, whose career thoroughly reveals the importance of Spanish painting by the middle of the nineteenth century.