Émile-René Ménard was a French painter born in Paris. From early childhood he was immersed in an artistic environment: Corot and the Barbizon painters frequented his family home, familiarizing him thus with both landscape and antique subjects. Ménard studied at the Académie Julian from 1880 after having been a student of Baudry and Henri Lehmann, he participated in the Salon of the Secession in Munich, the Salon de la Libre Esthétique in Brussels during 1897. Several personal exhibitions were devoted to him at the Georges Small Gallery. In 1904, he was appointed professor at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière, in that year welcomed the rising young Russian painter Boris Kustodiev, age 26, in his art studio. In 1921, he exhibited in the Twelfth Salon along with Edmond Aman-Jean. Galleries in Buffalo, New York and Boston, Massachusetts exposed Ménard and his art to the United States. However, the numerous commissions that Ménard received from the French government crowned his career. Ménard's art allies a rigorous, clear classicism with a diffuse and dreamlike brushwork.
In 1894, Victor Shoe described Ménard’s work in l'Art et la Vie as "visions of a pacified, bathed nature, of dawn and of twilight, where the soul seems to immerse itself in the innocence of daybreak, breathe the divine anointment that comes with the dawn."
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Third French Republic, the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded; some historians argue that the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck deliberately provoked the French into declaring war on Prussia in order to draw the independent southern German states—Baden, Württemberg and Hesse-Darmstadt—into an alliance with the North German Confederation dominated by Prussia, while others contend that Bismarck did not plan anything and exploited the circumstances as they unfolded. None, dispute the fact that Bismarck must have recognized the potential for new German alliances, given the situation as a whole.
On 16 July 1870, the French parliament voted to declare war on Prussia and hostilities began three days when French forces invaded German territory. The German coalition mobilised its troops much more than the French and invaded northeastern France; the German forces were superior in numbers, had better training and leadership and made more effective use of modern technology railroads and artillery. A series of swift Prussian and German victories in eastern France, culminating in the Siege of Metz and the Battle of Sedan, saw French Emperor Napoleon III captured and the army of the Second Empire decisively defeated. A Government of National Defence declared the Third French Republic in Paris on 4 September and continued the war for another five months. Following the Siege of Paris, the capital fell on 28 January 1871, a revolutionary uprising called the Paris Commune seized power in the city and held it for two months, until it was bloodily suppressed by the regular French army at the end of May 1871.
The German states proclaimed their union as the German Empire under the Prussian king Wilhelm I uniting Germany as a nation-state. The Treaty of Frankfurt of 10 May 1871 gave Germany most of Alsace and some parts of Lorraine, which became the Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine; the German conquest of France and the unification of Germany upset the European balance of power that had existed since the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Otto von Bismarck maintained great authority in international affairs for two decades. French determination to regain Alsace-Lorraine and fear of another Franco-German war, along with British apprehension about the balance of power, became factors in the causes of World War I; the causes of the Franco-Prussian War are rooted in the events surrounding the unification of Germany. In the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Prussia had annexed numerous territories and formed the North German Confederation; this new power destabilized the European balance of power established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars.
Napoleon III the emperor of France, demanded compensations in Belgium and on the left bank of the Rhine to secure France's strategic position, which the Prussian chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, flatly refused. Prussia turned its attention towards the south of Germany, where it sought to incorporate the southern German kingdoms, Bavaria, Württemberg and Hesse-Darmstadt, into a unified Prussia-dominated Germany. France was opposed to any further alliance of German states, which would have strengthened the Prussian military. In Prussia, some officials considered a war against France both inevitable and necessary to arouse German nationalism in those states that would allow the unification of a great German empire; this aim was epitomized by Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck's statement: "I did not doubt that a Franco-German war must take place before the construction of a United Germany could be realised." Bismarck knew that France should be the aggressor in the conflict to bring the southern German states to side with Prussia, hence giving Germans numerical superiority.
He was convinced that France would not find any allies in her war against Germany for the simple reason that "France, the victor, would be a danger to everybody – Prussia to nobody," and he added, "That is our strong point." Many Germans viewed the French as the traditional destabilizer of Europe, sought to weaken France to prevent further breaches of the peace. The immediate cause of the war resided in the candidacy of Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a Prussian prince, to the throne of Spain. France feared encirclement by an alliance between Spain; the Hohenzollern prince's candidacy was withdrawn under French diplomatic pressure, but Otto von Bismarck goaded the French into declaring war by releasing an altered summary of the Ems Dispatch, a telegram sent by William I rejecting French demands that Prussia never again support a Hohenzollern candidacy. Bismarck's summary, as mistranslated by the French press Havas, made it sound as if the king had treated the French envoy in a demeaning fashion, which inflamed public opinion in France.
French historians François Roth and Pierre Milza argue that Napoleon III was pressured by a bellicose press and public opinion and thus sought war in response to France's diplomatic failures to obtain any territorial gains following the Austro-Prussian War. Napoleon III believed. Many in his court, such as Empress Eugénie wanted a
Sousse or Soussa is a city in Tunisia, capital of the Sousse Governorate. Located 140 km south of the capital Tunis, the city has 271,428 inhabitants. Sousse is in the central-east of the country, on the Gulf of Hammamet, a part of the Mediterranean Sea, its economy is based on transport equipment, processed food, olive oil and tourism. It is home to the Université de Sousse. Sousse and Soussa are both French spellings of the Arabic name Sūsa; the present city has grown to include the ruins of Hadrumetum, which had many names in several languages during antiquity. In the 11th century BC, Tyrians established Hadrumetum as a trading post and waypoint along their trade routes to Italy and the Strait of Gibraltar, its establishment preceded Carthage's but, like other western Phoenician colonies, it became part of the Carthaginian Empire following Nebuchadnezzar II's long siege of Tyre in the 580s and 570s BC. The city featured in the Third Sicilian War, the Second and Third Punic Wars, Caesar's Civil War, when it was the scene of Caesar's famously deft recovery: upon tripping while coming ashore, he dealt with the poor omen this threatened to become by grabbing handfuls of dirt and proclaiming "I have you now, Africa!"
The second city in Roman Africa after Carthage, it became the capital of the province of Byzacena during the Diocletianic Reforms. Its native sons included the jurist Salvius Julianus, the emperor Clodius Albinus, numerous Christian saints; the Roman and Byzantine catacombs beneath the city are extensive. The Vandals sacked Hadrumetum in 434 but it remained a place of importance within their kingdom; the Byzantine Empire reconquered the town in 534 during the Vandal War and engaged in a public works program that included new fortifications and churches. The town was sacked during the Umayyad Caliphate's 7th-century conquest of North Africa. According to a 1987 ICOMOS report, Uqba ibn Nafi's siege and capture of the city resulted in its complete destruction, such that no monument of Hadrumetum "subsists in situ". Muslim Arab armies spread Arab culture across what had been a Romanized and Christianized landscape. Under the Aghlabids, Susa was established near the ruins of Hadrumetum and served as their main port.
Their 827 invasion of Sicily was launched from the town's harbor. After the Byzantine city of Melite was captured by the Aghlabids in 870, marble from its churches was used to build the Ribat. A soaring structure that combined the purposes of a minaret and a watch tower, it remains in outstanding condition and draws visitors from around the world, its mosque is sometimes accounted the oldest surviving in the region and the town's main mosque built during the 9th century, has a fortress-like appearance. Susa was occupied by Norman Sicily in the 12th century. Tunisia became a French protectorate in 1881; the French improved the town's harbor during the next two decades. Prior to the First World War, Sousse had about 25,000 inhabitants, including around 10,000 French and 5,000 other Europeans Italians and Maltese. Sousse has retained the solidly Arabian look and feel it had assumed in the centuries after its initial conquest. Today it is considered one of the best examples of seaward-facing fortifications built by the Arabs.
These days, with a population of about 200,000, retains a medieval heart of narrow, twisted streets, a kasbah and medina, its ribat fortress and long wall on the Mediterranean. Surrounding it is a modern city of long, straight roads and more spaced buildings. Sousse was the site of the chess interzonal in 1967, made famous when American Grandmaster Bobby Fischer withdrew from the tournament though he was in first place at the time. On 26 June 2015, a lone gunman identified as Seifeddine Rezgui Yacoubi opened fire on tourists sunbathing on a beach near the Riu Imperial Marhaba and Soviva hotels, killing 38 and wounding 39, before being shot dead by the police. Sousse is the third largest city in Tunisia after Sfax. Although Sousse is associated with olive oil manufacture and has other industries, tourism predominates today. An olive grove covering more than 2,500 km2 constitutes one of its main riches since antiquity; the busy port near downtown adds a touch of liveliness to its activity. Sousse had many oil wells in the area during its colonial period.
Sousse is an important tourist resort. It has a hot semi-arid climate, with the seaside location moderating the climate, making it an all-season resort with hot, dry summers and warm, wet winters; the fine sandy beaches are backed by orchards and olive groves. Only 20 km from Monastir and Monastir Habib Bourguiba International Airport, hotel complexes with a capacity of 40,000 beds extend 20 km from the old city north along the seafront to Port El Kantaoui; some 1,200,000 visitors come every year to enjoy its hotels and restaurants, casinos and sports facilities. Sousse is considered to be a popular tourist destination due to its nightlife. Well-known nightclubs include Bora Bora, Rediguana and The Saloon; the top producers and DJs in dance come to play at the various clubs
Var is a department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in Southeastern France. It takes its name from the river Var, which flowed along its eastern boundary, until the boundary was moved in 1860; the Var department is bordered on the east by the department of Alpes-Maritimes, to the west by Bouches-du-Rhône, to the north of the river Verdon by the department of Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea. Toulon is the largest city and administrative capital of Var. Other important towns in Var include Fréjus, Saint-Raphaël, Brignoles, Hyères and La Seyne-sur-Mer. Var is known for the harbour of the main port of the French Navy; the department of Var was created at the time of the French Revolution, on 4 March 1790, from a portion of the former royal province of Provence. Its capital was Toulon, but this was moved to Grasse in 1793 to punish the Toulonnais for yielding the town to the British in 1793. Subsequently the capital was moved to Brignoles in 1795 to Draguignan in 1797.
It was not returned to Toulon until 1974. In 1815, following the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo the department was occupied by Austrian troops until November 1818. In 1854 the first railroad reached Toulon. With the creation of the new department of Alpes-Maritimes in 1860 and following the annexation by France of Nice, the eastern part of the department, corresponding to the Arrondissement of Grasse, was moved to the new department; this move shifted the river Var, which had given the department its name, to the new department. In 1884 a cholera epidemic struck Toulon; the leader of the fight against the epidemic was Georges Clemenceau, a doctor and a member of the National Assembly for the Seine department. He was elected a member of the National Assembly for the Var department from 1888 to 1893 and Senator from 1902 to 1920, during which time he served as Prime Minister; the First World War stimulated growth in shipyards and military industries in the region, but weakened the agricultural and food industries.
In 1942 the German Army moved from Occupied France into the Zone libre, which included the Var department. The French Fleet was sabotaged in Toulon Harbour to keep it from falling into German hands; the Maquis Vallier, a group of maquis resistance fighters, was active. On 15 August 1944 American and Free French forces land at Saint-Tropez, Sainte-Maxime and Saint-Raphaël; the Free French fleet arrived at Toulon on 13 September. In the 1960s about one hundred thousand French citizens were repatriated from Algeria following the Algerian War of Independence and settled in the Var department; the department of Var has a surface area of 6,032 km2, 420 km of coastline, including the offshore islands. 56% of it is covered with forest. Its geological formations are divided into two regions; the department is in the foothills of the French Alps and mountainous. Major mountains include: Massif des Maures and Massif de l'Esterel, along the coast, are made of quartz rock; the Sainte-Baume mountain ridge, in the west.
Mountain of Lachens, in the northwest of the department, the highest point in the Var. The plateau of Canjuers in the northeast of Var rises from 500 to 1,000 metres. In the south and west there are several plateaus, such as the plateau of Siou Blanc to the north of Toulon, which rise from 400 to 700 metres in altitude; the Canyon du Verdon, the gorges of the Verdon River, is a popular place for hikers and nature lovers. The Îles d'Hyères is a group of three islands off Hyères The islands are named Porquerolles, Port-Cros, Île du Levant. Together, they make up an area of 26 km2, they can be reached by boat from either Toulon. The department of Var has a Mediterranean climate warmer and sunnier than Nice and the Alpes-Maritimes, but less sheltered from the wind. Toulon has an average of 2899.3 hours of sunshine each year. The average maximum daily temperature in August is 29.1 °C, the average daily minimum temperature in January is 5.8 °C. The average annual rainfall is 665 mm. Winds exceeding 16 m/s blow an average of 116 days per year in Toulon, compared with 77 days per year at Fréjus further east.
In 2007, the population of Var was estimated at 990,000, of whom nearly half live in and around Toulon. In 2004–2005, the population of the urban area of Toulon was estimated at 403,743 persons, of whom 160,639 lived in Toulon itself: 60,188 in La Seyne-sur-Mer; the population of other important towns, according to the 2004–2005 estimate: Fréjus – 49,100 Saint-Raphaël – 32,200 Draguignan – 35,500 Brignoles – 15,540 The principal industry of Var is tourism, thanks to the big summer influx of tourists to the Mediterranean coastal towns, to the Verdon River Canyon and hilltop villages of Var. Popular tourist attractions in Var include: The port and beaches of Saint-Tropez The seaside village of Sainte-Maxime, with waterfront promenade and restaurants, a ferry service to Saint-Tropez; the beach of Cavalaire-sur-Mer, the longest sand beach on the coast. Boat tours of the harbour, of Toulon, the main anchorage of the French Navy. Wind-surfing offshore of the peninsula of Giens Le Thoronet Abbey, one of the best-preserved medieval Cistercian monasteries in France.
Luxembourg the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, France to the south, its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture and languages are intertwined with its neighbours, making it a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French and the national language, Luxembourgish; the repeated invasions by Germany in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union. With an area of 2,586 square kilometres, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe. In 2018, Luxembourg had a population of 602,005, which makes it one of the least-populous countries in Europe, but by far the one with the highest population growth rate.
Foreigners account for nearly half of Luxembourg's population. As a representative democracy with a constitutional monarch, it is headed by Grand Duke Henri and is the world's only remaining grand duchy. Luxembourg is a developed country, with an advanced economy and one of the world's highest GDP per capita; the City of Luxembourg with its old quarters and fortifications was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 due to the exceptional preservation of the vast fortifications and the old city. The history of Luxembourg is considered to begin in 963, when count Siegfried I acquired a rocky promontory and its Roman-era fortifications known as Lucilinburhuc, ′little castle′, the surrounding area from the Imperial Abbey of St. Maximin in nearby Trier. Siegfried's descendants increased their territory through marriage and vassal relations. At the end of the 13th century, the Counts of Luxembourg reigned over a considerable territory. In 1308, Henry VII, Count of Luxembourg became King of the Germans and Holy Roman Emperor.
The House of Luxembourg produced four Holy Roman Emperors during the high Middle Ages. In 1354, Charles IV elevated the County to the Duchy of Luxembourg. Since Sigismund had no male heir, the Duchy became part of the Burgundian Circle and one of the Seventeen Provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands. Over the centuries, the City and Fortress of Luxembourg, of great strategic importance situated between the Kingdom of France and the Habsburg territories, was built up to be one of the most reputed fortifications in Europe. After belonging to both the France of Louis XIV and the Austria of Maria Theresia, Luxembourg became part of the First French Republic and Empire under Napoleon; the present-day state of Luxembourg first emerged at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. The Grand-Duchy, with its powerful fortress, became an independent state under the personal possession of William I of the Netherlands with a Prussian garrison to guard the city against another invasion from France. In 1839, following the turmoil of the Belgian Revolution, the purely French-speaking part of Luxembourg was ceded to Belgium and the Luxembourgish-speaking part became what is the present state of Luxembourg.
Luxembourg is a founding member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations, NATO, Benelux. The city of Luxembourg, the country's capital and largest city, is the seat of several institutions and agencies of the EU. Luxembourg served on the United Nations Security Council for the years 2013 and 2014, a first in the country's history; as of 2018, Luxembourgish citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 186 countries and territories, ranking the Luxembourgish passport 5th in the world, tied with Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. The recorded history of Luxembourg begins with the acquisition of Lucilinburhuc situated on the Bock rock by Siegfried, Count of Ardennes, in 963 through an exchange act with St. Maximin's Abbey, Trier. Around this fort, a town developed, which became the centre of a state of great strategic value. In the 14th and early 15th centuries, three members of the House of Luxembourg reigned as Holy Roman Emperors. In 1437, the House of Luxembourg suffered a succession crisis, precipitated by the lack of a male heir to assume the throne, which led to the territories being sold by Duchess Elisabeth to Philip the Good of Burgundy.
In the following centuries, Luxembourg's fortress was enlarged and strengthened by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, Habsburgs and the French. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Luxembourg was disputed between Prussia and the Netherlands; the Congress of Vienna formed Luxembourg as a Grand Duchy within the German Confederation. The Dutch king became, in the grand duke. Although he was supposed to rule the grand duchy as an independent country with an administration of its own, in reality he treated it to a Dutch province; the Fortress of Luxembourg was manned by Prussian troops for the German Confederation. This arrangement was revised by the 1839 First Treaty of London, from which date Luxembourg's full independence is reckoned. At the time of the Belgian Revolution of 1830–1839, by the 1839 Treaty establishing full independence, Luxembourg's territory was reduced by more than half, as the predominantly francophone western part of the country was transferred to Belgium. In 1842 Luxembourg joined the German Customs Union (Zoll
Musée du Luxembourg
The Musée du Luxembourg is a museum at 19 rue de Vaugirard in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. Established in 1750, it was an art museum located in the east wing of the Luxembourg Palace and in 1818 became the first museum of contemporary art. In 1884 the museum moved into the former orangery of the Palace; the museum was taken over by the French Ministry of Culture and the French Senate in 2000, when it began to be used for temporary exhibitions, became part of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux in 2010. From 1750 to 1780 it was the first public painting gallery in Paris, displaying the King's collection which included Titian's The Madonna of the Rabbit, Da Vinci's Holy Family and nearly a hundred other Old Master works now forming the nucleus of the Louvre. In 1803, it reopened showing paintings by a range of artists from Nicolas Poussin to Jacques-Louis David, was devoted to living artists from 1818 to 1937. Much of the work first shown here has found its way into other museums of Paris including the Jeu de Paume, the Orangerie, the Musée National d'Art Moderne and the Musée d'Orsay.
In 1861, James Tissot showed The Meeting of Faust and Marguerite, purchased by the state for the Luxembourg Gallery. The illustrator André Gill was named curator of the Musée du Luxembourg on May 15, 1871, in which capacity he reassembled the scattered collections of art and reestablished the museum of sculpture, he had scarcely begun his work when it was interrupted by the upheaval associated with the Paris Commune. When Ernest Hemingway paid a call on Gertude Stein at the nearby Rue de Fleurus, he stopped to see the work of the Impressionists which in 1921 were still in the Musée du Luxembourg. Les Grands du Dessin de Press: André Gill "Quand ouvrira-t-on des maisons pour imbeciles?" Ochterbeck, Cynthia Clayton, editor. The Green Guide Paris. Greenville, South Carolina: Michelin Maps and Guides. ISBN 9781906261375. Official site
Paul Maximilien Landowski was a French monument sculptor of Polish descent. His best-known work is Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Brazil. Landowski was born in Paris of a Polish refugee father of the January Uprising, a French mother, he studied at the Académie Julian, before graduating from the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, he won the Prix de Rome in 1900 with his statue of David, went on to a fifty-five-year career. He produced over thirty five monuments in twelve more in the surrounding area. Among those is the Art Deco figure of St. Genevieve on the 1928 Pont de la Tournelle, he created Les Fantomes, the French Memorial to the Second Battle of the Marne which stands upon the Butte de Chalmont in Northern France. Landowski is known for the 1931 Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a collaboration with civil engineer Heitor da Silva Costa and architect and sculptor Gheorghe Leonida; some sources indicate Landowski designed Christ's head and hands, but it was Leonida who created the head when asked by Landowski.
He won a gold medal at the art competitions at the 1928 Summer Olympics for Sculpture, an event held from 1912 to 1952. From 1933 through 1937 he was Director of the French Academy in Rome, he served as an art–juror with Florence Meyer Blumenthal in awarding the Prix Blumenthal, a grant given between 1919–1954 to young French painters, decorators, engravers and musicians. Landowski was the father of artists: painter Nadine Landowski, composer Marcel Landowski, pianist and painter Françoise Landowski-Caillet, he died in Boulogne-Billancourt, a suburb of Paris, where a museum dedicated to his work has over 100 works on display. Official web site Paul Landowski Collection at Google Cultural Institute Paul Landowski in American public collections, on the French Sculpture Census website Paul Landowski at Masters of 20th Century Figure Sculpture