France

History's new verdict on the Dreyfus case

History's new verdict on the Dreyfus case

History's new verdict on the Dreyfus case

History's new verdict on the Dreyfus case

History's new verdict on the Dreyfus case

July 9, 2006
July 2006
History's new verdict on the Dreyfus case
[OPINION] Historians are hailing accused 19th-century spy Alfred Dreyfus as a hero, not a simple victim of anti-Semitism. In 1899, a broken Alfred Dreyfus accepted a presidential pardon — and its implication that he had committed treason against France. It was a matter of life or death, for Dreyfus feared that he would not survive the notorious penal colony on Devil's Island, where he had been sent after a military court convicted him of betraying his country. Those who believed that he was innocent and had called for his exoneration were deeply disappointed. "We were prepared to die for Dreyfus," said poet Charles Péguy, "but Dreyfus was not." His decision to accept a pardon is one of the cornerstones of a long-standing French perception that Dreyfus is the model of a submissive victim. But on the eve of the 100th anniversary of his exoneration in 1906 and the official end of the tumultuous affair that convulsed France for a dozen years, that view may be changing. Indeed, some historians see Dreyfus the patriot, not Dreyfus the victim...

Europe's Dawn, In Art

Europe's Dawn, In Art

Europe's Dawn, In Art

Europe's Dawn, In Art

Europe's Dawn, In Art

May 30, 2005
May 2005
Europe's Dawn, In Art
Coming upon a remote Romanesque church from almost 1,000 years ago is one of the pleasures of traveling through the countryside of Europe. But these structures, put up when the tribes that had destroyed the Roman Empire were emerging from their Dark Ages, are almost bare, their sculptures, reliquaries and manuscripts often squirreled away in diocesan and regional museums in distant towns. It is hard to get a good sense of this unusual art. Until this year, France -- which claims the richest collections -- had never organized a major national exhibition of Romanesque art. The Louvre Museum in Paris has finally erased that neglect with an impressive show of more than 300 works titled “Romanesque France: In the Time of the First Capetian Kings (987-1152),” which runs through next Monday...

A Fontainebleau period

A Fontainebleau period

A Fontainebleau period

A Fontainebleau period

A Fontainebleau period

December 26, 2004
December 2004
A Fontainebleau period
The oldest museums in America have their storerooms full of paintings that were the rage in art more than a century ago but are now out of fashion. This gloomy repose is often the fate of the 19th century Barbizon painters of France. Their paintings were once prized by collectors all over the world, but the Barbizon painters had the misfortune to work just before the Impressionists came on the scene. These younger painters eclipsed them long ago. A Barbizon show is thus a rare and pleasant chance to look closely at a group of wonderful landscape painters whose work paved the way for the now more famous Impressionist artists. Curator Simon Kelly of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore has dipped into his stores and those of the Baltimore Museum of Art to help put on that kind of show. Of the 48 works in the show owned by the Walters, 34 have not been exhibited for decades. Called “The Road to Impressionism: Landscapes from Corot to Monet,” the exhibition runs until Jan. 17 at the Walters. There are no plans for the exhibition to travel. Kelly has assembled 70 works from the most distinguished painters who lived or worked in Barbizon, a village on the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau 35 miles south of Paris...

Frivolity before the revolution

Frivolity before the revolution

Frivolity before the revolution

Frivolity before the revolution

Frivolity before the revolution

October 21, 2003
October 2003
Frivolity before the revolution
The small genre masterpieces of the French painters of the 18th century are so frothy, so delightful, so charming and sometimes so naughty that it is hard to associate them with such weighty themes as philosophy and revolution. But an extraordinary exhibition of these paintings, currently at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, makes the persuasive case that these great artists, no matter how frivolous their subjects often seemed, reflected the philosophical ideas of the Enlightenment that coursed through France during these decades and laid the groundwork for the French Revolution. A visitor does not need to know all this to savor these wonderful works, but the historical dimension adds a special flavor that helps bind the artists together...

Traces of the French in Hanoi

Traces of the French in Hanoi

Traces of the French in Hanoi

Traces of the French in Hanoi

Traces of the French in Hanoi

November 25, 2001
November 2001
Traces of the French in Hanoi
There was a time -- romantic in French history -- when French Indochina with its capital of Hanoi shimmered as one of the jewels of the French colonial empire. Thousands of French administrators and teachers and merchants and police lived in Hanoi. The brightest and richest Vietnamese studied at elite French schools there. French law, French bureaucracy and French communications dominated life in the colony. And a visitor could taste a little bit of France and its elegance in the best hotels and restaurants...

Studios of Paris

Studios of Paris

Studios of Paris

Studios of Paris

Studios of Paris

June 1, 1989
June 1989
Studios of Paris
Delacroix, Manet, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rodin. Seurat, Degas, Matisse and thousands of other French artists, many penniless then and still unknown, had studios in Paris. Foreigners such as Sargent, Whistler, Chagall and Miró felt they had no choice but to rush there. From the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century, almost all artists looked to Paris as their mecca. In this unusual and carefully illustrated book, John Milner, head of the Department of Fine Art at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England, describes how French tradition and government policy, along with Parisian commerce and practical necessity, combined to create a kind of factory of art in Paris in the 19th century...
The Studios of Paris: The Capital of Art in the Late Nineteenth Century by John Milner

New Caledonia Voters Say No to Independence

New Caledonia Voters Say No to Independence

New Caledonia Voters Say No to Independence

New Caledonia Voters Say No to Independence

New Caledonia Voters Say No to Independence

September 14, 1987
September 1987
New Caledonia Voters Say No to Independence
But Most Melanesians Boycott S. Pacific Referendum; Paris Hails Outcome. Almost everyone who voted in a special referendum in New Caledonia on Sunday rejected independence from France, but most Melanesians, the largest ethnic group on the South Pacific archipelago, boycotted the polls. Although many analysts had derided the referendum in advance as an exercise that will settle none of the racial and political problems of the territory, the French government hailed the results as a victory for democracy and for France. The results were about the best that the French government of Premier Jacques Chirac could have expected and fell short of the hopes of the main Melanesian independence party, the Socialist Kanak Front for National Liberation. Yet the results did little more than follow the general lines of the ethnic divisions of New Caledonia...