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This small web exhibition from MoMA shows how an artist responded to a political event in the 1860s. There was photography in the mid-19th century, but making a picture required a long exposure. Because of this process, events were not often photographed as they happened, and the images that were produced were not circulated instantaneously as they are today. Between 1867 and 1869, Edouard Manet produced three large paintings, an oil sketch, and a lithograph depicting the execution of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, who had been installed by Napoleon III of France, a ruler Manet opposed. He used written and graphic accounts from French journals and newspapers such as "L'IndÃ©pendance belge" and "Le Figaro" as the basis for his works. The best feature of the web exhibition is the Timeline, which is arranged with Manet's creative events on the left, historical events on the right, and many links to supporting information throughout. For example, as Maximilian was arriving in Mexico in the spring of 1865, Manet was completing his painting The Dead Christ and the Angels. By beginning with the Timeline visitors can see the convergence of these events, and then find links to more information as well as a larger view of the painting, currently owned by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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