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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Auguste-Louis Lepère
French, 1849–1918

Paris, Viewed from Montmartre (Paris, vu de Montmartre)

Etching, 1889
Frederick B. and Kate L. Shoemaker Fund, 1975.61

Auguste-Louis Lepère, a brilliant etcher, wood-engraver, and printer, had the rare capacity to retain a feeling of freshness and spontaneity in his energetic city scenes despite the slow process of creating prints. Here, enthusiastic viewers—a range of ages and social types—look over the site of the 1889 Exposition Universelle, the World’s Fair. The entrance to the fair, the just-completed Eiffel Tower, looms in the distance. To many artists the Tower became an inspirational symbol of modernity, while to critics it was only a “useless and monstrous” construction. Its designer, Gustave Eiffel, replied, “Why what is desirable in Egypt becomes hideous and ridiculous in Paris?”