Édouard Manet - Rochefort's Escape 1881

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Rochefort's Escape 1881

Rochefort's Escape 1881
80x73cm oil/canvas
Museum d'Orsay, Paris, France

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From Museum d'Orsay, Paris:
This painting is the smaller of the two versions of Rochefort's Escape painted by Manet after December 1880. The other version is in the Kunsthaus, Zurich. Virulently opposed to the imperial regime, Rochefort founded a political newspaper, La Lanterne in 1868. The newspaper, which was published in Brussels, was soon banned. In 1873, the journalist was sentenced to penal servitude for his role during the Commune. His spectacular, swashbuckling escape by sea, in 1874, inspired Manet to paint this strange composition, six years after the event. The artist waited for the Republican victory in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies in January 1879 and a law granting the communards amnesty, in July 1880, which permitted the fugitive to return to France, before tackling the subject. He intended to enter his painting in the Salon of 1881.