In 1864, with his Christ and the Angels, now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, Manet drew an uneasy connection between the Paris salon and the public morgue, replacing the eloquent, universal body we expect to find in a religious history painting with a silent and particular corpse of the kind exhibited at the new Morgue of Paris. This replacement marked Manet’s rupture with the French tradition of religious history painting and signaled the birth of a new aesthetic vision, born at the Morgue, and defined by Zola as Naturalism.

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