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mheu, Historical Museum of the Urban Environment

The Barricade, Rue de la Mortellerie

Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier

The Barricade, Rue de la Mortellerie - Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier

19th century
29cm × 22cm
oil on canvas
Paris, Musée du Louvre
© RMN / Droits réservés

View this work in the exhibition The Street

The artist

Jean-Louis-Etienne Meissonier was born in Lyons in 1815. He was a painter who occasionally lapsed into "Fireman Art" due to the "official" academic nature of certain works, but who was better than his poor reputation might imply. The acclaimed artist—multiple Salon award-winner, member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1861, chairman of the Institut de France from 1876 until his death in 1891 and Grand Croix de la Légion d'Honneur in 1889—had the unfortunate idea of excluding Gustave Courbet from the 1872 Salon, because of the latter's alleged involvement alongside the Communards in toppling the Vendôme column. It has since been proven that Courbet was not involved. Moreoever, he is also widely regarded as a much better painter than his persecutor, as shown by this monochrome-yet-highly-illustrative scene from the 1848 Revolution.