|A May Morning in the Park, 1879-80, Thomas Eakins of Philadelphia, a shining star in the otherwise lackluster group of American artists of the 1880s.|
|Dancers in the Wings, ca. 1880, Auguste Renoir. The strange cropping of the composition displays the influence of photography in Renoir's work.|
|Woman Sitting Under the Willows, |
1880-81, Claude Monet
When people think of this era in art, painting seems first and foremost with impressionism for the first time starting to flex some muscle with the work of Claude Monet (right), Jean-Auguste Renoir (above), along with Degas, Paul Cezanne, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot, the only two women among the lot. As numerous as the struggling impressionists were becoming in Paris during the 1880s, they were outnumbered about ten to one by literally thousands of painters churning out work in the traditional academic style led chiefly by Alexandre Cabanel with mythical or allegorical works similar to Cabanel's Phèdre (below) painted in 1880. I should note that the 1880s was also the era of the American expatriates such as John Singer Sargent and James McNeill Whistler.
|Phèdre, 1880, Alexandre Cabanel|
|Changing Pasteur, 1880, Antoine Mauve|
|I'd give it about a B-.|
|A sampling of European poster art from the 1880s in the Art Nouveau style.|
|Impressionism in the round.|
|(Upper left) Salammbo, Bronze, Paris, 1880, Emile Bruchon, |
(right) Flower Basin with a Nude Drying Her Foot, ca 1880s , Ricardo Aurili.
|Informal and formal.|
|Men's dressing gown, ca. 1880|
And on a lighter side, the 1880s marked what might be called the zenith of Paris haute couture. The French were the first to make an industry out of fashion, not just dress-making, and they have been exporting their style since the 17th century which is frankly before most of the world even realized what fashion was. Fashion has always existed at the crossroads of art and consumerism and never more so than in the 1880s. Of course we're not talking just about women's fashions. Men's clothing styles also frequently had their genesis in Paris. Men do care about fashionable attire, just not as much as women. Below is an illustrated chart I put together detailing what women chose to buy and wear each year (dates are approximations). I keep wondering how the ladies managed personal hygiene wearing such tight, constricting frocks.
|The tailored look for outside, the frilly ruffles and ribbons to impress one another indoors.|
|1880s swimwear---not much |
chance to get a tan.