||“Degenerates are not always criminals, anarchists, and pronounced lunatics; They are often authors and artists.”
-Max Nordan, Degeneration
Using revolutionary Paris as their backdrop, bohemians challenged the status quo by rejecting mainstream values and mocking the bourgeoisie.
However, Bohemia remains difficult to define. Participants, including writers, artists, students and youth, all contributed to the feelings and ideas of bohemia in different ways; the one attribute they shared was their rejection of the bourgeoisie.
The image above, Octave Tassaert’s The Studio, was painted in 1845, almost synonomously with the birth of bohemian Paris. This image is a wonderful representation of bohemia, with the young artist working intently in his messy, unfurnished apartment. Despite his long hair and ragged clothes, he is content to be working on the art that he loves.
This is the true essence of bohemia.