In 19th-century Paris, art didn’t equate to freedom of expression. There were standards for traditional French paintings stipulated by the Academie des Beaux-Arts. Artists who wanted to participate in the official art exhibition titled “The Salon” arranged by the academy had to follow its aesthetic stipulations such as using historical subjects or religious theme.
However, there was a group of rebellious artists, the Impressionists, who disagreed with the standards and challenged the Academie des Beaux-Arts. The group included Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Auguste Renoir, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Rousseau, George Seurat, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne and Paul Gauguin.