I really dig this Masked Ball at the Opera House by Edouard Manet. I love the photographic nature of the scene. This was done in 1873, before cameras were common. Artists were frequently invited to such events to capture them for posterity. [Though Manet probably would have been invited anyway. This was his crowd and this was his scene].
He would sketch out a preliminary drawing at the party and would finish it in his studio, often adding people, including himself and friends who were not there.
Respectable men and women in masks partied with showgirls of ill repute. Classes mingled fashionably. It was very risque. Manet was no stranger to scandal and probably figured it would probably be rejected by the 1874 Paris Salon.
You can see this in person at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
#art, #artist, #arthistory, #edouardmanetart, #impressionism, #inspiration, #maskedball, #painting, #19thcenturyart