Dear Friends,

Until now, I have offered a panorama that spans nearly three centuries of the great European art, yet skips some of the most famed artists and schools so as to feature less known - but in no way less beautiful - master works. My idea has been to offer a preliminary selection that while could be favored by most of the people on account of its being from two of the most popular trends in art history, the Baroque and the Romantic, would at the same time exclude paintings perhaps too known and therefore less interesting to the general public. That is one reason why I have not presented any works from the Renaissance; the other being that this great period was too religion-oriented as to be part of an introductory selection. However, in the main body of this exhibition such exclusion will be amply compensated.

The masterpiece shown this time, "The Railroad," belongs to the realist period of Edouard Manet, who actually is regarded the most important master of Impressionism. I selected it for its great, colorful beauty and its evocative quality.

On the next few subsequent releases pertaining to this panoramic introduction I will present some master works by great artists from the Eastern world and, hopefully, one or two Modern Art masterpieces before going into the main part of this art exhibition.

I am very happy with the feedback received so far. Your posting at this forum is much appreciated.

Thank you,

Luis Miguel Goitizolo


Le Chemin de Fer ("The Railroad")

by Edouard Manet

born January 23, 1832, Paris, France
died April 30, 1883, Paris

Profile (2)

in full  Vincent Willem van Gogh  Dutch painter, generally considered the greatest after Rembrandt, and one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists. The striking colour, emphatic brushwork, and contoured forms of his work powerfully influenced the current of Expressionism in modern art. Van Gogh's art became astoundingly popular after his death, especially in the late 20th century, when his work sold for record-breaking sums at auctions around the world and was featured in blockbuster touring exhibitions. In part because of his extensive, published letters, van Gogh has also been mythologized in the popular imagination as the quintessential tortured artist.

Manet's debut as a painter met with a critical resistance that did not abate until near the end of his career. Although the success of his memorial exhibition and the eventual critical acceptance of the Impressionistsówith whom he was loosely affiliatedóraised his profile by the end of the 19th century, it was not until the 20th century that his reputation was secured by art historians and critics. Manet's disregard for traditional modeling and perspective made a critical break with academic painting's historical emphasis on illusionism. This flaunting of tradition and the official art establishment paved the way for the revolutionary work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Manet also influenced the path of much 19th- and 20th-century art through his choice of subject matter. His focus on modern, urban subjectsówhich he presented in a straightforward, almost detached manneródistinguished him still more from the standards of the Salon, which generally favoured narrative and avoided the gritty realities of everyday life. Manet's daring, unflinching approach to his painting and to the art world assured both him and his work a pivotal place in the history of modern art.

Technical data (3)

Le Chemin de Fer ("The Railroad")
Oil on canvas
36 1/2 x 44 7/8 inches (93 x 114 cm)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA
Gift of Horace Havenmeyer in memory of his mother, Louisine W. Havenmeyer


(1) This image is a courtesy of Art Renewal Center.

(2) Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.

(3) Source: Art Renewal Center.