It's typical for writers of art history to present significant works in terms of how they challenged the traditions and social mores of their respective time and place. Consider Courbet's 'Burial of Ornans' or Manet's 'Olympia'. Such works are hardly considered controversial by today's standards, but in their day they drew shock and awe from both critics and the public on account of how they depicted their subject matter. The artists' output indeed pushed the boundaries considered appropriate by the Academie des Beaux-Arts of the Paris Salon, but if not for the Salon's rigged constraints perhaps said artists would've pushed the envelope even further and committed even more daring works to their large canvases, or maybe not. Perhaps Manet's 'Luncheon on the Grass' would've remained as is even if the artist were allowed to operate within today's debatably more liberal standards.
It's difficult the judge how each personality would've responded within different parameters and how their work might've varied.
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