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  • Writer's pictureRobin Yong

Belle Époque 美麗の時代

The Belle Époque  (French for 'The Beautiful Era') was a period of French and European history that began after the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 and continued until the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Occurring during the era of the French Third Republic, it was a period characterised by optimism, regional peace, economic prosperity, colonial expansion, and technological, scientific and cultural innovations. In this era of France's cultural and artistic climate (particularly in Paris of that time), the arts markedly flourished, and numerous masterpieces of literature, music, theatre and visual art gained extensive recognition.

The Belle Époque was so named in retrospect, when it began to be considered a continental European "Golden Age" in contrast to the horrors of the Napoleonic Wars and World War I. The Belle Époque was a period in which, according to historian R. R. Palmer, "European civilisation achieved its greatest power in global politics, and also exerted its maximum influence upon peoples outside Europe.

Two devastating world wars and their aftermath made the Belle Époque appear to be a time of joie de vivre (joy of living) in contrast to 20th century hardships. It was also a period of stability that France enjoyed after the tumult of the early years of the Third Republic, featuring defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, the uprising of the Paris Commune, and the fall of General Georges Ernest Boulanger. The defeat of Boulanger, and the celebrations tied to the 1889 World's Fair in Paris, launched an era of optimism and affluence. French imperialism was in its prime. It was a cultural center of global influence, its educational, scientific and medical institutions were at the leading edge of Europe.

The Venice Carnevale is not solely about masks. Local Italians prefer historical costumes or painted faces. Just another streetside portrait on the busy streets of Venice during usual, everything done using just natural lighting...

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