From the beginning, the Musee d’Orsay art album wanted to provide a global vision of Western art between 1848 and 1914, covering all movements, currents, schools and styles, including those neglected in the twentieth century – symbolism, orientalism, art Nouveau – or those disregarded by critics – academism and Art Pompier.
The millions of visitors coming to the museum every year are attracted primarily by the works of Monet, Degas, Lautrec, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin or Vuillard. However, ignoring the tradition in favor of avant-garde alone would be nonsense. First of all, because in painting, as in other fields, there can be nothing without what preceded it. Conscious or not, artists feed on previous works, assimilating or rejecting their experience. Second, because academic painters were the most appreciated in their time, while Manet and Impressionists were struggling with severe criticism.