The Execution Of Emperor Maximilian Of Mexico by Édouard Manet
Manet was always a history painter, a “universal” painter, from ambition and from a desire to record the political situation of the time....That Édouard then painted several controversial paintings, including the Battle of the Kearsarge and The Execution of Maximilian came as no surprise. When the Radicals came to power in 1879, it gave him a final boost. Decorative projects and portraits confirmed his commitment. The establishment of 14 July as France’s national day and the amnesty for the Communards prompted him to pay tribute to a "red", which was echoed in December 1880 by Monet’s comment: “I saw Manet, in good enough health, very much taken up with a sensational painting for the Salon - Rochefort escaping in a rowing boat on the open sea.” Destined for the Salon, the unfinished canvas was both his Barque of Dante (Eugene Delacroix) and his Raft of the Medusa (Théodore Géricault).
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