Rochefort’s Escape (L’Evasion de Rochefort), c. 1881, oil on canvas, 80 x 73 cm, Musée d’Orsay.
Virulently opposed to the imperial regime, Victor Henri Rochefort founded a political newspaper, La Lanterne, in 1868. The newspaper, which was published in Brussels, was soon banned. In 1873 the journalist was sentenced to prison for his role during the Commune. His spectacular, swashbuckling escape by sea, in 1874, inspired Manet to paint this composition, six years after the event.
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