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In the wake of the 19th century, art became more than a culturedefinition. Progressively, it became a subject of entrepreneurialconcern. People started seeing the essence of purchasing and owningvarious collections of artworks because at this time, the FrenchRevolution helped to shape the social, political and economy aspectsof Europe. Due to war and maybe other significant factors, manyartworks had to be liquefied and thus re-distributing the assets thatwere a liability to their owners.1Thus, a great deal of artworks were rather placed for purchase. Inview of the art market history, it was the establishment art saleschannels together with the creation of public exhibition places,which supported the value of marketed artworks. Despite the concernthat artists wanted to protect and ensure the continuity of theirexemplary artworks through sales, they also wanted wide recognitionand also to become financially able. By selling their artworks towealthier persons, income was created.2The history of art market was represented in broader approaches tooffer a different perspective in response to the changing spheres ofart. The idea of “business art” was therefore born. However,business art became a major issue when artists such as Edgar Degas(1834-1917), and the Impressionist painter, Elizabeth Gardner(1837-1922) helped to bring the entrepreneur taste to art.3
Art was involved in many areas such as sculpture, printmaking,fashion, advertising, script, and photography. Visual culturematerialized in the mid-19th century in Paris. Consumption of art inthe 19th century had divergent meanings and experiences. In examiningthe Parisian consumption, it is essential to assess the metropolitanculture, entertainment, advertising, and shop displays. Women hadgreat contribution in the advancement of the consumer culture.Elizabeth Gardner, a female salon painter, was a central point inregards to the Parisian movement. She was an excellent business womanin that, she became one of the sought after painters who offered goodpaintwork sales and commissions. Consumer culture had a greatconnection with women where the Impressionist art was commercialized.Both the Impressionist paintings and Parisian consumerism wererecognized as the emergence of the contemporary Parisian art. The twoshaped the visual culture at the time, including the formation offashion, gender, and identity. The visual artworks reflected theideals of the Parisian society at the time.4
Culture history of Parisian consumption:
As early as 1881, the Grands Boulevards, in Paris, became a focalpoint of the Parisian market culture. There were long caravans ofcamels carrying advertisement kiosks form Madeleine to Bastille, andattracting bigger crowds of people. However, the police chief at thatparticular time, prohibited the advertising and sale of camels in thewhole of France. The Grands Boulevard was series of streets where allmen, ordinary and famous converged for their consumption needs. Inthe second half of the nineteenth century, Paris became center ofconsumption.5This came about after the transformative effect of urban planning,and was supervised by the then Paris prefect, Georges EugèneHaussmann. He profoundly brought a new image to the city creatingnew boulevards, parks and other significant public works. His workled to the commonly referenced, Haussmann’s renovation of Paris.6
Paris continued to attain a universal recognition as an epitome ofculture, fashion, entertainment and monumental beauty.7It is argued that city flourished exceptionally in consumption asopposed to production, finance and industry. By 1890, the ParisianMovement, gained a major foothold in mass consumption. The dynamismof taste and power, the never ending affair between consumption andproduction helped to pull out the consumer nature in massive crowdsof people. Advertisements became major tool for the description ofproducts awaiting consumption.8The influence of publicity to culture, a core target for consumerism,brought about the dynamic effects of urban commercial development.The effects of print media and publishing at this period cannot beover looked. They were a very effective mechanism of spreadinginformation across various strata, and circulating lots of commercialrhetoric and publicity. It is clearly evident that modern consumerculture evolved from the culture that was presented through consumerproducts- through the press, illustrated books, advertisements andother commercialized sources. As years progressed, the ParisianMovement identified with new meanings to consumption and growth ofthe consumer market. The movement was also coupled to the influenceof the shared urban sociability around consumption sites such as:9
Promenading and shopping quarters with covered arcades
Scintillating shops and a coquettish public display
Elegant passages were a positive paradise of mutual display for the leisured and the leisurely, and especially for upper-class women.
Department Stores on Rue de la Paix
Fashion magazines, retailers and some cultural sources promotedshopping as a better way of urban leisure and sociability. Shoppingas an improvised form of urban leisure contributed to the emergenceof Paris as a modern city. Associating consumption with pleasure ofshopping gradually became a way of promoting culture such as art. Menand women were the main targets of the consumer market. Nevertheless,women’s fashion and other related fields, became a distinctivefeature, especially in the feminization of consumption.10A major section of the nineteenth century helped to place the entryof women in the public view. The appearance of women was thought tobe a new and major tool for attracting attention for goods.Basically, advertisement is a “technology of attention.”Therefore, the involved stakeholders thought of using women in mostposters so as to place emphasis on the market of their goods. Visualculture was a key form of the art market history, because, it is theaesthetics of a given piece that should bring about the interest ofconsumption. The creation of consumption enabled a larger section ofthe community to access the commodities that were otherwise notavailable to them.
The autonomy of the woman in impressionist painting:
Women became a new tool for expression of consumption. They wereactively involved in the public sphere where a great deal of publicwas present. They were exceptionally visible and thus helped to markthe vibrancy of the Impressionist urban culture. This is also due tothe fact that women are symbols of beauty and culture. The firstFrench illustrated news magazine, L’Illustration, used women todirect attention through visual and textual sense and publicize thecity of Paris as a tourist destination site. Fashion magazines becamepopular by expanding consumption and using women to market variousshopping stores.11Thus, women advanced form their earlier form, “mythical feminine tomodern woman.”12Thanks to the entry of fashion magazines. Shopping was slowlybecoming a new form of urban leisure indulgence and respected socialactivity. Women became a refined object with meaningful taste,especially when they were used on posters and magazines’advertisements. For instance, new items such the nouveautés, becamethe central focus of many fashion magazines. In the late 18thcentury, Paris established itself with a new face. The idea of “NewWoman” and “New Painting” was born. New Woman was a referenceto the recognition of women as equal to men, whereas New Painting wasthe entry of a new form of art painting into the market- it waspopularly called Impressionism.13
In the political era of the U Avenir des Femmes, women wereidentified as the models of a strong, moral and ethical society. Theywere recognized as powerful instruments in political and familyaffairs. Although they were denied the chance for voting, theirconditions were improved girls were given access to basic and highereducation, and women were allowed an entitlement to seek for divorce.In the progression of the Haussmann’s renovation of Paris, agleaming metropolis, women achieved different faces andrepresentations.14From the stereotypical Parisienne, rag pickers, prostitutes and artmodels, women had a new feel in the growing Impressionist-basedmetropolis. Amid the faster development of the Parisian movement, anew concept was embraced by the impressionist painters- the flaneur.The concept of the flâneur was rather immortalized in The Painter ofModern Life. The flaneur depicted the bourgeois man of the world,strolling the newly laid out boulevards of the blooming city.15 The original idea of the flaneur was conceived by CharlesBaudelaire, a visionary artist and poet. In the Impressionism era,artists also saw the importance of painting women and thus
Female flaneur (flaneuse) became an important issue as well. In theconsumer culture of Paris, parks and boulevards had many classes offlaneur and flaneuse. Women displayed their femininity in the parksand streets too. The darker sides of the streets had a bloomingbusiness for prostitution and thus women often wandered and roamedabout them, day and night. With the growing population and growingeconomy, women were pushed into the streets to look for employment,and this is how prostitution came about in the Parisian movement.16
Additionally, in the late 19th century, it was a usual occasion forthe Paris residents to visit the Opera houses. As obvious, women tothe Opera wearing lots of jewelry and dresses that showcased theirbeautiful skin. Often, men would wear black and disappeared withinthe opera box (the loge). People often came to get attention fromothers, and thus ignored the performance at the stage. At that time,the Opera houses were a crucial symbol of modernity and thus variousartist such as Mary Cassatt, represented the Opera houses in theirImpressionist paintings. In this paintings, the women were thecentral theme, their physical appearance was represented in such anattractive manner, and dressed up beautifully in the gaze of themen’s eyes. A good example of such paintings is the Woman in Blackat the Opera, 1879 (Mary Cassatt). In the painting, as illustratedbelow, the female flaneuse obviously ignores the attention of themale flaneur by looking at an object. 17
Figure1. Woman in Black at the Opera, 1879 (Mary Cassatt).
In the Impressionist painting, Woman at her Toilette (Jeune fille dedos à sa toilett) by Berthe Morisot, the woman is seen asrepresenting the modernity of life, and also the autonomy of femaleeroticism in the Parisian movement era. 18
Figure2. Berthe Morisot, Woman at her Toilette (Jeune fille de dos à satoilett)
According to Baudelaire, "the elegant and powdered woman was…one of the specific signs of Modernism.”19The autonomy of women enabled them to quickly manipulate the interestof men. Their fashion sense- elegant dresses, dazzling jewelry and“controversial behavior” became a new epitome that was thepedestal for modernity. It was pretty conspicuous that the man wasthe beholder, and the woman was the vision, or rather theParisienne.20
The Parisienne played a very crucial role in the Culture history ofParisian consumption. The woman was dressed in beautiful regalia andaccessories that adorned the fashion magazines. As a marketingstrategy, the owners of the shopping stores aimed at attracting thefemale clientele. However, the consumer market was not limited to themarket of fashionable items only, it was also meant to serve thescholarly society with a culture of reading newspapers, journals andnovels. Other consumer markets were entertainment spots such as OperaHouses, theaters or café concerts, and dining in restaurants thatdoted the boulevards of Paris.
At the Milliner`s, By Edgar Degas (1834-1917)-Provenance andExhibition history.
In this Impressionist painting, Edgar Degas decided to use anotherartist, a female artist, Mary Cassatt, as the model for the artwork.It was a visual representation that showed the varying classes statusof women. The painting depicted a higher class woman, wealthy andbeautifully dressed, and another lower class woman hiding in thebackground. Obviously a house maid-helper. The higher class womanrepresents the autonomy of women in fashion, as she is seen asshopping for a hat.21
Figure3. At the Milliner`s, By Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
This painting has had various ownerships in what is technicallyreferred to as provenance. Provenance is the chronology of theownership of an item, may be an artwork. The order of ownership isshown below, step-wise:-22
In July 1882, Paris, Edgar Degas sold the paintwork to Durand-Ruel, at Fr 2000
In Oct 1882, Paris, Durand-Ruel sold it Mme Angelo, at Fr 4000
In 1886, Paris, Mme Angelo sold it to Alexander Reid, at £800
In Jan, 1892, Glasgow and London, Alexander Reid sold it to Thomas Glen Arthur.
In May, 1895, Paris, Thomas Glen Arthur sold it Durand-Ruel, at at Fr 15000
In 12th Jan, 1899, Paris, Durand-Ruel sold it Durand-Ruel New York, at 50000
In 24th Jan, 1899, New York, it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer.
As seen from the provenance above, the paintwork commodity was soldto various people and travelled across various cities, and at thesame time increasing in its price. The art market history involvesauctions as seen above.23
The exhibition history also involves different places as shownbelow:-
Paris. 1 Rue Laffitte. "8me exposition de peinture [8th Impressionist exhibition]," May 15–June 15, 1886, no. 14 (as "Femme essayant un chapeau chez sa modiste," lent by Mme A.).
London. Mr. Collie`s Rooms. "A Small Collection of Pictures by Degas and Others," December 18, 1891–January 8, 1892, no. 19 (as "Chez la modiste").Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. "Thirty-First Exhibition of Works of Modern Artists," February 2–March 1892, no. 562 (as "Chez la Modiste," lent by T. G. Arthur, Esq.).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 10–November 2, 1930, no. 145 [2nd ed., 1958, no. 116].
New York. Wildenstein. "A Loan Exhibition of Degas," April 7–May 14, 1949, no. 60.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, not in catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas in the Metropolitan," February 26–September 4, 1977, no. 34 (of works on paper).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Degas," September 27, 1988–January 8, 1989, no. 232.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A236.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity," February 26–May 7, 2013, no. 101.
The exhibition history also caters for the entrepreneurship aspect ofthe commodity, because it is clearly seen that painting has travelledacross many cities and being sold at different prices.
ARTHISTORYOFTHEDAY. Womanin Black at the Opera, 1879 (Mary Cassatt). Accessed January 8th,2016.https://arthistoryoftheday.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/mary-Cassattt-woman-in-black-at-the-opera-1879/
Art Institute Chicago. . Berthe Morisot, Woman at her Toilette (Jeunefille de dos à sa toilett). Accessed January 8th, 2016.http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/11723/print
Burke Chagnon. “History of the Art Market.”
Christie`s Education. (Fall 2015).
Chrisman-Campbell, Kimberly. "Review." Woman`s Art Journal30, no. 2 (2009): 37-42.
Hahn. H-Hazel. Scenes of Parisian Modernity: Culture and Consumptionin the
Nineteenth Century Journal. (2009)
Iskin, Ruth E. Modern Women and Parisian Consumer Culture inImpressionist Painting. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.(2007).
JeremyR. Howard. “Art market economics”. The 19th century (2015).Accessed January 7th, 2015.http://www.britannica.com/topic/art-market/The-18th-century.
Perrot, Philippe. Fashioning the bourgeoisie: a history of clothingin the nineteenth century. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton UniversityPress, 1994.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accessed January 8th, 2016.http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/436126?=&imgno=0&tabname=object-information
Tiffany M. “Elizabeth Gardner: Passion, Pragmatism, and theParisian Art Market.” Woman`s Art Journal, Vol. 20, No. 2. Woman`sArt Inc. (1999-2000): 7-12+30. January 7th, 2015.http://www.jstor.org/stable/1358978
1 Chagnon Burke. “History of the Art Market.”
Christie`s Education. (Fall 2015).
3 R. Howard Jeremy. “Art market economics”. The 19th century (2015). Accessed January 7th, 2015. http://www.britannica.com/topic/art-market/The-18th-century.
4 M. Tiffany. “Elizabeth Gardner: Passion, Pragmatism, and the Parisian Art Market.” Woman`s Art Journal, Vol. 20, No. 2. Woman`s Art Inc. (1999-2000): 7-12+30. January 7th, 2015. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1358978
5 Iskin, Ruth E. Modern Women and Parisian Consumer Culture in Impressionist Painting. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
6 Campbell Chrisman, Kimberly. "Review." Woman`s Art Journal 30, no. 2 (2009): 37-42.
7 Perrot, Philippe. Fashioning the bourgeoisie: a history of clothing in the nineteenth century. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994.
8 Iskin, Ruth E. Modern Women and Parisian Consumer Culture in Impressionist Painting. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
9 Campbell Chrisman, Kimberly. "Review." Woman`s Art Journal 30, no. 2 (2009): 37-42.
10 Perrot, Philippe. Fashioning the bourgeoisie: a history of clothing in the nineteenth century. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1994.
11 Hazel. Hahn. H. Scenes of Parisian Modernity: Culture and Consumption in the
Nineteenth Century Journal. (2009)
12 Campbell Chrisman, Kimberly. "Review." Woman`s Art Journal 30, no. 2 (2009): 37-42.
13 Hazel. Hahn. H. Scenes of Parisian Modernity: Culture and Consumption in the
Nineteenth Century Journal. (2009)
14 Campbell Chrisman, Kimberly. "Review." Woman`s Art Journal 30, no. 2 (2009): 37-42
16 ARTHISTORYOFTHEDAY. Woman in Black at the Opera, 1879 (Mary Cassatt). Accessed January 8th, 2016. https://arthistoryoftheday.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/mary-Cassattt-woman-in-black-at-the-opera-1879/
18 Art Institute Chicago. Berthe Morisot, Woman at her Toilette (Jeune fille de dos à sa toilett). Accessed January 8th, 2016. http://www.artic.edu/aic/collections/artwork/11723/print
19 Campbell Chrisman, Kimberly. "Review." Woman`s Art Journal 30, no. 2 (2009): 37-42
21 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accessed January 8th, 2016. http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/436126?=&imgno=0&tabname=object-information
22 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accessed January 8th, 2016. http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/436126?=&imgno=0&tabname=object-information
23 The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Accessed January 8th, 2016. http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/436126?=&imgno=0&tabname=object-information