19th century - early 20th century - Modernity
In 1863 Le Figaro (French broadsheet newspaper) published an essay by Baudelaire, The Painter and Modern Life, which called on artists and critics to understand and transcribe the essence of a contemporary society which no longer bore any resemblance to that of the previous centuries, rather than imitate the artists of the past.
Both painters and critics took this warning as their own. They paid all the more attention as the novels of Flaubert and Zola were so many tableaux of modern life, well-observed, detailed and thoroughly documented.
Modern fin-de-siècle art is represented in the museum by several masterpieces by Edouard Manet (Marguerite de Conflans, around 1875-1877), Berthe Morisot (On a Bench, 1893) or Edouard Vuillard (Beneath the Trees at the Red Pavillion, between 1905 and 1907). The museum is proud to own a splendid series of works by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, which joined the collections thanks to the generosity of his mother and of his biographer, the painter François Gauzi (The Passing Conquest, 1896). These pieces, through the contrast they represent with the academic works of the same period, highlight the diversity of the artistic approaches present at the end of the 19th century.
Edouard VUILLARD (Cuiseaux, 1868 - La Baule, 1940),
Sous les arbres du pavillon rouge,
entre 1905 et 1907
Inv. D 1946 1
Photo : Daniel Martin