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La Victoire de Samothrace, Unknown, 190 BC

The Balcony




When Manet showed The Balcony in 1869 it was mocked by critics and the public.

They hated the style, judging the contrasts too aggressive and the brush strokes too clumsy.

They also thought the subject was thoroughly boring - the characters aren’t doing anything interesting, they're just staring in space and waiting.

But the painting made its way into the canon.

In 1950, Magritte painted his own version of it.

He replaced the characters with coffins.

This was his way of signalling the death of the previous vanguard and the arrival of a new revolutionary movement - the Surrealists!

La Joconde, de Vinci (1519)


A Modern Olympia

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