The Proto-Feminist Parisienne? "Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity" Opens …

One might argue that the Parisian woman is the protagonist of the Metropolitan Museum’s “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity,” the first exhibition to document the formative influence of contemporary fashion on the advanced art in the period between 1862 and 1887. Arriving on the coattails of mass production, capitalism, and the spectacle of urban modernity, the Parisienne was a cultural construct and real phenomenon. She was a national symbol, artistic muse, object of both flannurial desire and misogynist ridicule, as well as an economic force devoted to the consumption of French fashion. Urban planner Baron Haussmann destroyed the labyrinthine alleys of medieval Paris to make way for broad boulevards, evicting the poor and turning the city into a platform of middle-class spectacles and shopping destinations. Artists, the Impressionists among them, rejected the historicism of the academy and established a dialectical flirtation between art and fashion. It’s a rare treat to see the work of the Manet, Monet,

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