Modernism was necessary because this painting—“Blanchette’s Wedding,” by Edmond van der Meulen—was accepted for a place in the Paris Salon of 1896, the world’s most prestigious annual exhibition, conferring on it the seal of the art establishment’s approval as a work of enduring merit. (Dr. Boli regrets that he has not been able to find a color reproduction, in spite of thirty-five seconds of earnest searching.) Perhaps we may judge great art by the questions it provokes in the mind of the viewer. In this case, the question we must ask ourselves is this: Do you suppose the bride and groom met while playing poker?


  1. RepubAnon says:

    One wonders whether the picture was accepted by the Paris Salon due in part to the artist’s novel replacement of canvas with an innovative, disruptive technology: black velvet.

  2. “Do you suppose the bride and groom met while playing poker?”

    Not a chance!

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

  3. I find it amusing that, in accordance with French tradition, this is clearly a secular, civil ceremony, rather than a religious one. Even though several of the participants are indeed wearing dog collars, none are of the type worn by Priests or ministers. So while All Dogs Go To Heaven, they don’t seem to go to Church, even on their wedding days.

  4. markm says:

    Martin, it’s quite simple. A dog as a French magistrate is quite believable, but the priesthood has standards.

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