Manet’s iconic portrait of Emile Zola (1867) depicts the young writer at his desk, an open book in his hand; on the wall above, a small representation of the painter’s groundbreaking Olympia gazes down at him. Zola’s inspired and inspiring defence of the leader of the Impressionists against the sclerotic Second-Empire art establishment was decisive in promoting modern art. A proponent of aesthetic innovation from the early 1860s, Zola was to become an enthusiastic interlocutor of Flaubert, Mallarmé, the Goncourt brothers, Turgenev, Whistler and Van Gogh; they admired his incisive character studies, his virtuoso orchestration of colour, voice, and tone, and the ambitious architecture of his literary …
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Harrow, Susan. "Emile Zola". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2007
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4852, accessed 21 March 2018.]