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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Enfin le Cinéma! Arts, Images, et Spectacles en France, 1833–1907

Musée d'Orsay / Paris / Art

In the late 19th century, accelerated urban development, groundbreaking scientific discoveries, the introduction of photography, and the transport revolution all expanded the horizons of society. Artists such as Monet, Pissarro, and Rodin—whose works all feature in “Enfin le cinema!” (Cinema at last!)—tried to capture this modernity, which their contemporary Baudelaire defined as “the transitory, the fleeting, and the contingent.” The invention of the cinematograph by the Lumières brothers, in 1895, is the direct product of these changes in city life and human behavior. Musée d’Orsay allows museumgoers to experience in real time a major shift: where before individuals contemplated motion as it was envisioned on a canvas, eventually a crowd collectively shared the experience of motion coming alive. —Sonya Ribner

Musée d'Orsay 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France
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