Art: Masterpieces of the Louvre: Part II

It is one of the ironies of art history that no group had to battle harder for recognition than the French impressionists, who eventually came to dominate the art of the Western world. Bucking the ornate, sentimental tastes of most Frenchmen in the second half of the 19th century, they were ruthlessly held down by entrenched academicians who controlled the Salon exhibitions. Many of them were grizzled veterans before they began to pay their way with their paintings. When impressionist painting suddenly swept into fashion at the turn of the century, their prices...

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