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19th Century European Paintings

During the 19th century, painting was the highest form of art. Countries ran an academy in their major cities and sometimes in smaller towns to train artists in the academic style. In the mid-19th century, however, the Barbizon School in France rejected that academic style. The School consisted of landscape artists who aimed to more truly represent the countryside as part of the French Realist movement.

In Paris, artists competed to have their works shown in the mostly-annual Salon, which grew into an unruly mess. Thousands of paintings were exhibited by hundreds of artists, all of them shown “salon style” in a great mish-mash over the walls. It was a challenge to contemplate any single work.

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Artists like Gustave Millet painted social critique. His painting... Read more

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