The essay "Urban Life in the Works of Monet, Degas and Seurat" examines the representation of the urban life in the works of Monet, Degas and Seurat. Paris of the middle of the 19th century is first of all a place of relaxation and fun, a place where a lot of visitors come for pleasure and entertainment. Paris is full of operas, vaudevilles and cafes. This is a city of strangers. I would like to dwell on the paintings of Manet, Degas and Seurat in this essay - the artists who touched upon the topic of the modern metropolis in their works as well. They painted all kinds of people from street musicians to aristocrats, but the biggest attention they paid to the so called “bohemia” – artists, poets, journalists, etc. Manet’s painting “At the cafe” is one that depicts one of his favorite themes – cafes in the lives of Parisians. This is a place where people can be together, but yet alone. Or those who are lonely can get a false feeling of intimacy – because in the cafes people are in close proximity to each other. This is what modern city was about – loneliness amongst crowds of people, strangers being together, and people who are supposed to be together are from each other in their hearts and minds, if not physically. “At the cafe” shows three people, sitting together at the table. It seems like these three people are a family – husband and wife, and their daughter. Yet none of them seems to be interested in the other person, in what he or she is saying, in their feelings.
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The essay explores the representation of the urban life in the works of Monet, Degas and Seurat. In 18-19th centuries the heyday of the European art occurred. Emperor Napoleon III ordered to proceed with the reconstruction of Paris, after the military action during the Franco-Prussian War…
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