Men like William Adolphe Bouguereau, Jean-Léon Gérôme, Jules Breton, Jules Bastien-Lepage, Jean Francois Millet, Jehan Georges Vibert, Edward Burne Jones, Fredrick Lord Leighton, Edward Poynter, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, John William Waterhouse, Leon L'hermitte, Sir Frank Dicksee, Sir John Everett Millais, Alexander Cabanel and Jules Lefebvre. These names, many of which may be new to you, were as well known by the cogniscenti in the 1890's as Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse, DeKooning, Jackson Pollock, and Andy Warhol are known today.
They were household names. People would line up sometimes for blocks to see exhibitions of their works. The rich, and the poor, the humble and the famous alike adored their work.
Men like Henry James, Frederic Chopin and Charles Dickens idolized these academic masters. Could such men that we all agree were beyond question great artistic geniuses themselves have had such bad taste so as to idolize art that today's ideologues would have us believe was so bad?