About this artwork

At the end of the Franco-Prussian War and following the siege of Paris, there was great civil unrest in Paris. For two months from March 1871, street fighting broke out daily during a period known as the Commune. It is estimated that nearly 30,000 people were killed. The French government sent troops to restore order, and many of the socialist defenders of the Commune were caught and shot at the barricades they patrolled. This is what Manet portrayed in his lithograph. The soldiers carry out the shooting with detached ruthlessness, which Manet showed to convey the measured approach the government took to eliminating the Commune. He adapted this composition from his earlier portrayal of a ‘political murder’, the ‘Execution of the Emperor Maximilian of Mexico’ of 1867.

  • title:
    La Barricade
  • accession number:
    P 2842
  • artist:
    Edouard ManetFrench (1832 - 1883)
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Lithograph on chine applique
  • date created:
    about 1871 - 1873
  • measurements:
    46.40 x 33.10 cm (framed: 66.60 x 54.00 x 2.80 cm)
  • credit line:
    Purchased 1985

Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet