This exhibition presents a refined selection of French prints, drawings, and photographs made in the decades directly before and after the Paris Commune of 1871 . The Commune, also known as the Paris Insurrection, lasted only from March 18 to May 28 , yet more than 20,000 citizens were killed by government forces. Scores more died in jail or were deported after the conflict. The Communards, most of whom were members of the working class, had taken control of the center of Paris to protest n apoleon III’s failed government and its inept handling of the Prussian siege of Paris, among other issues.
The death and destruction in the streets of Paris during the Commune affected many artists who lived through or even fought in it, as did Edouard Manet. This exhibition examines how the fallout from this traumatic event reverberated in work by Impressionist and Social Realist artists who rejected established academic styles, questioned social norms, and reacted to the ways in which industrialization and urbaniza- tion were changing Paris. The central image in this installation, Manet’s powerful 1871 lithograph Civil War (Guerre civile), will be shown with works by other artists, including Gustave Courbet, Camille Pissarro, Félix Bracquemond, and Maximilien Luce.
Robert Mondavi Family Gallery
All works in this exhibition are drawn from the Cantor Arts Center Collections.