The Paris of 1850 did not differ much from the Paris of 1789. But by the last third of the 19th century, the city played a central role in the cultural life of its inhabitants. The physical city, the its grand boulevards and squares, cafes and theaters, gardens and monuments — with the river Seine threading its way through the center — its cosmopolitanism and its electric spirit inspired an extraordinary level of innovation in all of the arts.
In the field of painting, in particular, traditions and conventions two centuries strong were sidestepped in favor of radical new forms of representation. The paintings of that now most beloved of art movements, Impressionism, would have been unthinkable without Paris.
Helga K. Aurisch explores the intimate relationship between the transformation Paris' medieval fabric into the City of Light, and the radical innovations that energized all of the arts in Paris in the late 19th century.
A reception to meet the speaker and a viewing of the exhibition Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris follow the lecture.