Édouard Manet
Overview
Édouard Manet was a French painter. One of the first 19th-century artists to approach modern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism
Realism (arts)
Realism in the visual arts and literature refers to the general attempt to depict subjects "in accordance with secular, empirical rules", as they are considered to exist in third person objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation...

 to Impressionism
Impressionism
Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s...

.

His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) and Olympia
Olympia (painting)
Olympia is an oil on canvas painting by Édouard Manet. Painted in 1863, it measures 130.5 by 190 centimetres . The nation of France acquired the painting in 1890 with a public subscription organized by Claude Monet...

, engendered great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today, these are considered watershed paintings that mark the genesis of modern art
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

.
Born into an upper class household with strong political connections, Manet rejected the future originally envisioned for him, and became engrossed in the world of painting.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Édouard Manet was a French painter. One of the first 19th-century artists to approach modern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism
Realism (arts)
Realism in the visual arts and literature refers to the general attempt to depict subjects "in accordance with secular, empirical rules", as they are considered to exist in third person objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation...

 to Impressionism
Impressionism
Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s...

.

His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) and Olympia
Olympia (painting)
Olympia is an oil on canvas painting by Édouard Manet. Painted in 1863, it measures 130.5 by 190 centimetres . The nation of France acquired the painting in 1890 with a public subscription organized by Claude Monet...

, engendered great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today, these are considered watershed paintings that mark the genesis of modern art
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

.

Biography

Born into an upper class household with strong political connections, Manet rejected the future originally envisioned for him, and became engrossed in the world of painting. The last 20 years of Manet's life saw him form bonds with other great artists of the time, and develop his own style that would be heralded as innovative and serve as a major influence for future painters.

Early life

Édouard Manet was born in Paris on 23 January 1832, to an affluent and well connected family. His mother, Eugénie-Desirée Fournier, was the daughter of a diplomat and goddaughter of the Swedish crown prince, Charles Bernadotte
Charles XIV John of Sweden
Charles XIV & III John, also Carl John, Swedish and Norwegian: Karl Johan was King of Sweden and King of Norway from 1818 until his death...

, from whom the current Swedish monarchs are descended. His father, Auguste Manet, was a French judge who expected Édouard to pursue a career in law. His uncle, Charles Fournier, encouraged him to pursue painting and often took young Manet to the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

. In 1841 he enrolled at secondary school, the Collège Rollin
Collège Rollin
The collège-lycée Jacques-Decour is a school in Paris on the avenue Trudaine.-History:The school was founded as the private collège Sainte-Barbe in 1821, renamed the private collège Rollin in 1830...

. In 1845, at the advice of his uncle, Manet enrolled in a special course of drawing where he met Antonin Proust
Antonin Proust
Antonin Proust was a French journalist and politician.Antonin Proust was born at Niort, Deux-Sèvres. In 1864 he founded an anti-imperial journal, La Semaine hebdomadaire which appeared in Brussels...

, future Minister of Fine Arts and subsequent life-long friend.

At his father's suggestion, in 1848 he sailed on a training vessel to Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

. After Manet twice failed the examination to join the Navy
French Navy
The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...

, the elder Manet relented to his son's wishes to pursue an art education. From 1850 to 1856, Manet studied under the academic painter, Thomas Couture
Thomas Couture
Thomas Couture was an influential French history painter and teacher. Couture taught such later luminaries of the art world as Édouard Manet, Henri Fantin-Latour, John La Farge, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Karel Javůrek, and J-N Sylvestre.-Life:He was born at Senlis, Oise, France...

. In his spare time, Manet copied the old masters
Old Master
"Old Master" is a term for a European painter of skill who worked before about 1800, or a painting by such an artist. An "old master print" is an original print made by an artist in the same period...

 in the Louvre.

From 1853 to 1856 he visited Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, during which time he absorbed the influences of the Dutch painter Frans Hals
Frans Hals
Frans Hals was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He is notable for his loose painterly brushwork, and helped introduce this lively style of painting into Dutch art. Hals was also instrumental in the evolution of 17th century group portraiture.-Biography:Hals was born in 1580 or 1581, in Antwerp...

, as well as the Spanish artists, Diego Velázquez
Diego Velázquez
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist...

 and Francisco José de Goya
Francisco Goya
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era...

.

In 1856, Manet opened his own studio. His style in this period was characterized by loose brush strokes, simplification of details and the suppression of transitional tones. Adopting the current style of realism
Realism (arts)
Realism in the visual arts and literature refers to the general attempt to depict subjects "in accordance with secular, empirical rules", as they are considered to exist in third person objective reality, without embellishment or interpretation...

 initiated by Gustave Courbet
Gustave Courbet
Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet was a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting. The Realist movement bridged the Romantic movement , with the Barbizon School and the Impressionists...

, he painted The Absinthe Drinker (1858–59) and other contemporary subjects such as beggars, singers, Gypsies, people in cafés, and bullfights. After his early years, he rarely painted religious, mythological, or historical subjects; examples include his Christ Mocked, now in the Art Institute of Chicago
Art Institute of Chicago
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is one of America's largest accredited independent schools of art and design, located in the Loop in Chicago, Illinois. It is associated with the museum of the same name, and "The Art Institute of Chicago" or "Chicago Art Institute" often refers to either...

, and Christ with Angels, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

, New York.

Music in the Tuileries

Music in the Tuileries is an early example of Manet's painterly style. Inspired by Hals and Velázquez, it is a harbinger of his life-long interest in the subject of leisure.

While the picture was regarded as unfinished by some, the suggested atmosphere imparts a sense of what the Tuileries gardens were like at the time; one may imagine the music and conversation.

Here, Manet has depicted his friends, artists, authors, and musicians who take part, and he has included a self-portrait among the subjects.

Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe)

A major early work is The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe). The Paris Salon
Paris Salon
The Salon , or rarely Paris Salon , beginning in 1725 was the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. Between 1748–1890 it was the greatest annual or biannual art event in the Western world...

 rejected it for exhibition in 1863 but he exhibited it at the Salon des Refusés
Salon des Refusés
The Salon des Refusés, French for “exhibition of rejects” , is generally an exhibition of works rejected by the jury of the official Paris Salon, but the term is most famously used to refer to the Salon des Refusés of 1863.-Background:...

 (Salon of the Rejected) later in the year. Emperor Napoleon III had initiated The Salon des Refusés after the Paris Salon rejected more than 4,000 paintings in 1863.

The painting's juxtaposition of fully dressed men and a nude woman was controversial, as was its abbreviated, sketch-like handling, an innovation that distinguished Manet from Courbet.
At the same time, Manet's composition reveals his study of the old masters, as the disposition of the main figures is derived from Marcantonio Raimondi
Marcantonio Raimondi
Marcantonio Raimondi, also simply Marcantonio, was an Italian engraver, known for being the first important printmaker whose body of work consists mainly of prints copying paintings. He is therefore a key figure in the rise of the reproductive print...

's engraving
Engraving
Engraving is the practice of incising a design on to a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as when silver, gold, steel, or glass are engraved, or may provide an intaglio printing plate, of copper or another metal, for printing...

 of the Judgement of Paris
Judgement of Paris
thumb |right |460px |[[The Judgment of Paris |The Judgment of Paris]], [[Peter Paul Rubens]], ca 1636...

(c. 1515) based on a drawing by Raphael
Raphael
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino , better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur...

.

Two additional works that are cited by scholars as important precedents for Le déjeuner sur l'herbe are Pastoral Concert
Pastoral Concert
The Pastoral Concert is an oil painting attributed to one of the Italian Renaissance masters Titian or Giorgione. It is located in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.-History:...

(c. 1510, The Louvre) and The Tempest
The Tempest (painting)
The Tempest is a famous Renaissance painting by Italian master Giorgione dated between 1506 and 1508. Originally commissioned by the Venetian noble Gabriele Vendramin, the painting is housed in the Gallerie dell'Accademia of Venice, Italy.-Overview:On the right a woman sits, suckling a baby. She...

(Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice), both of which are attributed variously to Italian Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 masters Giorgione
Giorgione
Giorgione was a Venetian painter of the High Renaissance in Venice, whose career was cut off by his death at a little over thirty. Giorgione is known for the elusive poetic quality of his work, though only about six surviving paintings are acknowledged for certain to be his work...

 or Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

. The Tempest is an enigmatic painting that features a fully dressed man and a nude woman in a rural setting. The man is standing to the left and gazing to the side, apparently at the woman, who is seated and is breastfeeding a baby; the relationship between the two figures is unclear. In Pastoral Concert, two clothed men and a nude woman are seated on the grass, engaged in music making, while a second nude woman stands beside them.

Olympia


As he had in Luncheon on the Grass, Manet again paraphrased a respected work by a Renaissance artist in the painting Olympia (1863), a nude portrayed in a style reminiscent of early studio photographs, but whose pose was based on Titian
Titian
Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576 better known as Titian was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near...

's Venus of Urbino
Venus of Urbino
The Venus of Urbino is a 1538 oil painting by the Italian master Titian. It depicts a nude young woman, identified with the goddess Venus, reclining on a couch or bed in the sumptuous surroundings of a Renaissance palace. It hangs in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence. The figure's pose is based...

(1538). The painting is also reminiscent of Francisco Goya
Francisco Goya
Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was a Spanish romantic painter and printmaker regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the moderns. Goya was a court painter to the Spanish Crown, and through his works was both a commentator on and chronicler of his era...

's painting, The Nude Maja (1800).

Manet embarked on the canvas after being challenged to give the Salon a nude painting to display. His uniquely frank depiction of a self-assured prostitute was accepted by the Paris Salon in 1865, where it created a scandal. According to Antonin Proust
Antonin Proust
Antonin Proust was a French journalist and politician.Antonin Proust was born at Niort, Deux-Sèvres. In 1864 he founded an anti-imperial journal, La Semaine hebdomadaire which appeared in Brussels...

, "only the precautions taken by the administration prevented the painting being punctured and torn" by offended viewers. The painting was controversial partly because the nude is wearing some small items of clothing such as an orchid in her hair, a bracelet, a ribbon around her neck, and mule slippers, all of which accentuated her nakedness, sexuality, and comfortable courtesan lifestyle. The orchid, upswept hair, black cat, and bouquet of flowers were all recognized symbols of sexuality at the time. This modern Venus' body is thin, counter to prevailing standards; the painting's lack of idealism rankled viewers. The painting's flatness, inspired by Japanese wood block
Ukiyo-e
' is a genre of Japanese woodblock prints and paintings produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries, featuring motifs of landscapes, tales from history, the theatre, and pleasure quarters...

 art, serves to make the nude more human and less voluptuous. A fully dressed black servant is featured, exploiting the then-current theory that black people were hyper-sexed. That she is wearing the clothing of a servant to a courtesan here, furthers the sexual tension of the piece.

Olympia's body as well as her gaze is unabashedly confrontational. She defiantly looks out as her servant offers flowers from one of her male suitors. Although her hand rests on her leg, hiding her pubic area, the reference to traditional female virtue is ironic; a notion of modesty is notoriously absent in this work. A contemporary critic denounced Olympia's "shamelessly flexed" left hand, which seemed to him a mockery of the relaxed, shielding hand of Titian's Venus. Likewise, the alert black cat at the foot of the bed strikes a sexually rebellious note in contrast to that of the sleeping dog in Titian's portrayal of the goddess in his Venus of Urbino.

"Olympia" was the subject of caricatures in the popular press, but was championed by the French avant-garde community, and the painting's significance was appreciated by artists such as Gustave Courbet
Gustave Courbet
Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet was a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting. The Realist movement bridged the Romantic movement , with the Barbizon School and the Impressionists...

, Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th...

, Claude Monet
Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. . Retrieved 6 January 2007...

, and later Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was a leading French Post-Impressionist artist. He was an important figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, print-maker, ceramist, and writer...

.

As with Luncheon on the Grass, the painting raised the issue of prostitution within contemporary France and the roles of women within society.

Life and times

The roughly painted style and photographic lighting in these works was seen as specifically modern, and as a challenge to the Renaissance works Manet copied or used as source material. His work is considered 'early modern', partially because of the black outlining of figures, which draws attention to the surface of the picture plane and the material quality of paint.

He became friends with the Impressionists
Impressionism
Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that originated with a group of Paris-based artists whose independent exhibitions brought them to prominence during the 1870s and 1880s...

 Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas[p] , born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas, was a French artist famous for his work in painting, sculpture, printmaking and drawing. He is regarded as one of the founders of Impressionism although he rejected the term, and preferred to be called a realist...

, Claude Monet
Claude Monet
Claude Monet was a founder of French impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. . Retrieved 6 January 2007...

, Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty, and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that "Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to...

, Alfred Sisley
Alfred Sisley
Alfred Sisley was an Impressionist landscape painter who was born and spent most of his life, in France, but retained British citizenship. He was the most consistent of the Impressionists in his dedication to painting landscape en plein air...

, Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th...

 and Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro was a French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter born on the island of St Thomas . His importance resides in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, as he was the only artist to exhibit in both forms...

 through another painter, Berthe Morisot
Berthe Morisot
Berthe Morisot was a painter and a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists. She was described by Gustave Geffroy in 1894 as one of "les trois grandes dames" of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt.In 1864, she exhibited for the first...

, who was a member of the group and drew him into their activities. The grand niece of the painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Jean-Honoré Fragonard
Jean-Honoré Fragonard was a French painter and printmaker whose late Rococo manner was distinguished by remarkable facility, exuberance, and hedonism. One of the most prolific artists active in the last decades of the Ancien Régime, Fragonard produced more than 550 paintings , of which only five...

, Morisot had her first painting accepted in the Salon de Paris in 1864, and she continued to show in the salon for the next ten years.

Manet became the friend and colleague of Berthe Morisot in 1868. She is credited with convincing Manet to attempt plein air painting, which she had been practicing since she was introduced to it by another friend of hers, Camille Corot. They had a reciprocating relationship and Manet incorporated some of her techniques into his paintings. In 1874, she became his sister-in-law when she married his brother, Eugene.
Unlike the core Impressionist group, Manet maintained that modern artists should seek to exhibit at the Paris Salon
Paris Salon
The Salon , or rarely Paris Salon , beginning in 1725 was the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. Between 1748–1890 it was the greatest annual or biannual art event in the Western world...

 rather than abandon it in favor of independent exhibitions. Nevertheless, when Manet was excluded from the International exhibition of 1867, he set up his own exhibition. His mother worried that he would waste all his inheritance on this project, which was enormously expensive. While the exhibition earned poor reviews from the major critics, it also provided his first contacts with several future Impressionist painters, including Degas.

Although his own work influenced and anticipated the Impressionist style, he resisted involvement in Impressionist exhibitions, partly because he did not wish to be seen as the representative of a group identity, and partly because he preferred to exhibit at the Salon. Eva Gonzalès
Eva Gonzalès
Eva Gonzalès was a French Impressionist painter.Eva Gonzalès was born in Paris into the family of the writer Emmanuel Gonzalèz. In 1865, she began her professional training and took lessons in drawing from the society portraitist Charles Chaplin.Gonzalès became a pupil of the artist Édouard...

 was his only formal student.

He was influenced by the Impressionists, especially Monet and Morisot. Their influence is seen in Manet's use of lighter colors, but he retained his distinctive use of black, uncharacteristic of Impressionist painting. He painted many outdoor (plein air
En plein air
En plein air is a French expression which means "in the open air", and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors.Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century working in natural light became particularly important to the Barbizon school and Impressionism...

) pieces, but always returned to what he considered the serious work of the studio.

Manet enjoyed a close friendship with composer Emmanuel Chabrier
Emmanuel Chabrier
Emmanuel Chabrier was a French Romantic composer and pianist. Although known primarily for two of his orchestral works, España and Joyeuse marche, he left an important corpus of operas , songs, and piano music as well...

, painting two portraits of him; the musician owned 14 of Manet's paintings and dedicated his Impromptu to Manet's wife.

Throughout his life, although resisted by art critics, Manet could number as his champions Émile Zola
Émile Zola
Émile François Zola was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism...

, who supported him publicly in the press, Stéphane Mallarmé
Stéphane Mallarmé
Stéphane Mallarmé , whose real name was Étienne Mallarmé, was a French poet and critic. He was a major French symbolist poet, and his work anticipated and inspired several revolutionary artistic schools of the early 20th century, such as Dadaism, Surrealism, and Futurism.-Biography:Stéphane...

, and Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the nineteenth century...

, who challenged him to depict life as it was. Manet, in turn, drew or painted each of them.

Cafe scenes

Manet's paintings of cafe scenes are observations of social life in 19th-century Paris. People are depicted drinking beer, listening to music, flirting, reading, or waiting. Many of these paintings were based on sketches executed on the spot. He often visited the Brasserie Reichshoffen on boulevard de Rochechourt, upon which he based At the Cafe in 1878. Several people are at the bar, and one woman confronts the viewer while others wait to be served. Such depictions represent the painted journal of a flâneur
Flâneur
The term flâneur comes from the French masculine noun flâneur—which has the basic meanings of "stroller", "lounger", "saunterer", "loafer"—which itself comes from the French verb flâner, which means "to stroll". Charles Baudelaire developed a derived meaning of flâneur—that of "a person who walks...

. These are painted in a style which is loose, referencing Hals
Frans Hals
Frans Hals was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He is notable for his loose painterly brushwork, and helped introduce this lively style of painting into Dutch art. Hals was also instrumental in the evolution of 17th century group portraiture.-Biography:Hals was born in 1580 or 1581, in Antwerp...

 and Velázquez
Diego Velázquez
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist...

, yet they capture the mood and feeling of Parisian night life. They are painted snapshots of bohemianism
Bohemianism
Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits...

, urban working people, as well as some of the bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

.

In Corner of a Cafe Concert, a man smokes while behind him a waitress serves drinks. In The Beer Drinkers a woman enjoys her beer in the company of a friend. In The Cafe Concert, shown at right, a sophisticated gentleman sits at a bar while a waitress stands resolutely in the background, sipping her drink. In The Waitress, a serving woman pauses for a moment behind a seated customer smoking a pipe, while a ballet dancer, with arms extended as she is about to turn, is on stage in the background.

Manet also sat at the restaurant on the Avenue de Clichy called Pere Lathuille's, which had a garden as well as the dining area. One of the paintings he produced here was, Chez le père Lathuille (At Pere Lathuille's), in which a man displays an unrequited interest in a woman dining near him.

In Le Bon Bock (1873), a large, cheerful, bearded man sits with a pipe in one hand and a glass of beer in the other, looking straight at the viewer.

Paintings of social activities

Manet painted the upper class enjoying more formal social activities. In Masked ball at the Opera, Manet shows a lively crowd of people enjoying a party. Men stand with top hats and long black suits while talking to women with masks and costumes. He included portraits of his friends in this picture.

Manet depicted other popular activities in his work. In The Races at Longchamp
The Races at Longchamp
The Races at Longchamp is an 1867 painting by the French artist Édouard Manet. The Impressionist painting depicts a horse racing at Longchamp and is currently conserved at the Art Institute of Chicago. It has been exhibited many times, the first one at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts...

, an unusual perspective is employed to underscore the furious energy of racehorses as they rush toward the viewer. In Skating Manet shows a well dressed woman in the foreground, while others skate behind her. Always there is the sense of active urban life continuing behind the subject, extending outside the frame of the canvas.

In View of the International Exhibition, soldiers relax, seated and standing, prosperous couples are talking. There is a gardener, a boy with a dog, a woman on horseback—in short, a sample of the classes and ages of the people of Paris.

War

Manet's response to modern life included works devoted to war, in subjects that may be seen as updated interpretations of the genre of "history painting". The first such work was the Battle of the Kearsarge and Alabama (1864), a sea skirmish from the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 which took place off the French coast, and may have been witnessed by the artist.

Of interest next was the French intervention in Mexico; from 1867 to 1869 Manet painted three versions of the Execution of Emperor Maximilian, an event which raised concerns regarding French foreign and domestic policy. The several versions of the Execution are among Manet's largest paintings, which suggests that the theme was one which the painter regarded as most important. Its subject is the execution by Mexican firing squad of a Habsburg emperor, who had been installed by Napoleon III. Neither the paintings nor a lithograph of the subject were permitted to be shown in France. As an indictment of formalized slaughter the paintings look back to Goya, and anticipate Picasso's Guernica
Guernica (painting)
Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, Basque Country, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces, on 26 April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War...

.

In January 1871 Manet traveled to Oloron-Sainte-Marie
Oloron-Sainte-Marie
Oloron-Sainte-Marie is a commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department in south-western France. The town of Oloron-Sante-Marie is positioned at the junction of two rivers and has a population of approximately 12,000. While not spectacular, it is a pleasant looking town, with an ancient quarter,...

 in the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

. In his absence his friends added his name to the "Fédération des artistes" (see:Courbet
Gustave Courbet
Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet was a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting. The Realist movement bridged the Romantic movement , with the Barbizon School and the Impressionists...

) of the Paris Commune
Paris Commune
The Paris Commune was a government that briefly ruled Paris from March 18 to May 28, 1871. It existed before the split between anarchists and Marxists had taken place, and it is hailed by both groups as the first assumption of power by the working class during the Industrial Revolution...

. Manet stayed away from Paris, perhaps, until after the semaine sanglante: in a letter to Berthe Morisot
Berthe Morisot
Berthe Morisot was a painter and a member of the circle of painters in Paris who became known as the Impressionists. She was described by Gustave Geffroy in 1894 as one of "les trois grandes dames" of Impressionism alongside Marie Bracquemond and Mary Cassatt.In 1864, she exhibited for the first...

 at Cherbourg (10 June 1871) he writes, "We came back to Paris a few days ago..." (the semaine sanglante ended on 28 May).

The Prints and Drawings Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest)
Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest)
The Museum of Fine Arts is a museum in Heroes' Square, Budapest, Hungary, facing the Palace of Art.It was built by the plans of Albert Schickedanz and Fülöp Herzog in an eclectic-neoclassical style, between 1900 and 1906. The museum's collection is made up of international art , including all...

 has a watercolour/gouache
Gouache
Gouache[p], also spelled guache, the name of which derives from the Italian guazzo, water paint, splash or bodycolor is a type of paint consisting of pigment suspended in water. A binding agent, usually gum arabic, is also present, just as in watercolor...

 (The Barricade) by Manet depicting a summary execution of Communards
Communards
The Communards were members and supporters of the short-lived 1871 Paris Commune formed in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War and France's defeat....

 by Versailles troops based on a lithograph of the execution of Maximilian
Maximilian I of Mexico
Maximilian I was the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire.After a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy, he was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico on April 10, 1864, with the backing of Napoleon III of France and a group of Mexican monarchists who sought to revive the Mexican monarchy...

. A similar piece (The Barricade), oil on plywood, is held by a private collector.

On 18 March 1871 he wrote to his (confederate) friend Félix Bracquemond
Felix Bracquemond
Félix Henri Bracquemond was a French painter and etcher.Félix Bracquemond was born in Paris. He was trained in early youth as a trade lithographer, until Guichard, a pupil of Ingres, took him to his studio. His portrait of his grandmother, painted by him at the age of nineteen, attracted Théophile...

 in Paris about his visit to Bordeaux
Bordeaux
Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

, the provisory seat of the French National Assembly of the Third French Republic where Emile Zola
Émile Zola
Émile François Zola was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism...

 introduced him to the sites: "I never imagined that France could be represented by such doddering old fools, not excepting that little twit Thiers
Adolphe Thiers
Marie Joseph Louis Adolphe Thiers was a French politician and historian. was a prime minister under King Louis-Philippe of France. Following the overthrow of the Second Empire he again came to prominence as the French leader who suppressed the revolutionary Paris Commune of 1871...

..."
If this could be interpreted as support of the Commune a following letter to Bracquemond (21 March 1871) expressed his idea more clearly: "Only party hacks and the ambitious, the Henrys of this world following on the heels of the Milliéres, the grotesque imitators of the Commune of 1793..." He knew the communard Lucien Henry to have been a former painter's model and Millière, an insurance agent. "What an encouragement all these bloodthirsty caperings are for the arts! But there is at least one consolation in our misfortunes: that we're not politicians and have no desire to be elected as deputies". (The letters are published in Julliet Wilson-Bareau, ed., Manet by himself UK: Little Brown, 2004.)

Paris

Manet depicted many scenes of the streets of Paris in his works. The Rue Mosnier Decked with Flags depicts red, white, and blue pennants covering buildings on either side of the street—another painting of the same title features a one-legged man walking with crutches. Again depicting the same street, but this time in a different context, is Rue Monsnier with Pavers, in which men repair the roadway while people and horses move past.

The Railway, widely known as The Gare Saint-Lazare, was painted in 1873. The setting is the urban landscape
Landscape
Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land, including the physical elements of landforms such as mountains, hills, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea, living elements of land cover including indigenous vegetation, human elements including different forms of...

 of Paris in the late 19th century. Using his favorite model in his last painting of her, a fellow painter, Victorine Meurent
Victorine Meurent
Victorine Louise Meurent was a French painter and a famous model for painters.Although she is now best known as the favourite model of Édouard Manet, she also was an artist in her own right, who exhibited repeatedly at the prestigious Paris Salon...

, also the model for Olympia and the Luncheon on the Grass, sits before an iron fence holding a sleeping puppy and an open book in her lap. Next to her is a little girl with her back to the painter, who watches a train pass beneath them.

Instead of choosing the traditional natural view as background for an outdoor scene, Manet opts for the iron grating which "boldly stretches across the canvas" The only evidence of the train is its white cloud of steam. In the distance, modern apartment buildings are seen. This arrangement compresses the foreground into a narrow focus. The traditional convention of deep space is ignored.

Historian Isabelle Dervaux has described the reception this painting received when it was first exhibited at the official Paris Salon of 1874: "Visitors and critics found its subject baffling, its composition incoherent, and its execution sketchy. Caricaturists
Caricature
A caricature is a portrait that exaggerates or distorts the essence of a person or thing to create an easily identifiable visual likeness. In literature, a caricature is a description of a person using exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others.Caricatures can be...

 ridiculed Manet's picture, in which only a few recognized the symbol of modernity that it has become today". The painting is currently in the National Gallery of Art
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden is a national art museum, located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, in Washington, DC...

 in Washington, D.C.

Manet painted several boating subjects in 1874. Boating, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, exemplifies in its conciseness the lessons Manet learned from Japanese prints, and the abrupt cropping by the frame of the boat and sail adds to the immediacy of the image. X-rays and pentimenti indicate that the man originally held the rope in his right hand.

Late works

He completed painting his last major work, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère , painted and exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1882, was the last major work by French painter Édouard Manet. It depicts a scene in the Folies Bergère nightclub in Paris...

 (Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère)
, in 1882 and it hung in the Salon that year.

In 1875, a book-length French edition of Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective...

's "The Raven
The Raven
"The Raven" is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in January 1845. It is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven's mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man's slow descent into madness...

" included lithographs by Manet and translation by Mallarmé.

In 1881, with pressure from his friend Antonin Proust
Antonin Proust
Antonin Proust was a French journalist and politician.Antonin Proust was born at Niort, Deux-Sèvres. In 1864 he founded an anti-imperial journal, La Semaine hebdomadaire which appeared in Brussels...

, the French government awarded Manet the Légion d'honneur
Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

.

Personal life

After the death of his father in 1862, Manet married Suzanne Leenhoff in 1863. Leenhoff was a Dutch-born piano teacher of Manet's age with whom he had been romantically involved for approximately ten years. Leenhoff initially had been employed by Manet's father, Auguste, to teach Manet and his younger brother piano. She also may have been Auguste's mistress. In 1852, Leenhoff gave birth, out of wedlock, to a son, Leon Koella Leenhoff.

Eleven-year-old Leon Leenhoff, whose father may have been either of the Manets, posed often for Manet. Most famously, he is the subject of the Boy Carrying a Sword
Boy Carrying a Sword
Boy Carrying a Sword is an 1861 oil painting by the French artist Édouard Manet and now displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The work shows a small boy costumed as a page of the Spanish court of the seventeenth century and holding a full-sized sword and sword belt...

of 1861 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). He also appears as the boy carrying a tray in the background of The Balcony
The Balcony (painting)
The Balcony is an 1868 oil painting by the French painter Édouard Manet and was exibited at the Paris Salon of 1869. The painting depicts Berthe Morisot , who became in 1874 the wife of his brother, Eugène...

.

Manet painted his wife in The Reading, among other paintings.

Death

Manet died of untreated syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

 and rheumatism
Rheumatism
Rheumatism or rheumatic disorder is a non-specific term for medical problems affecting the joints and connective tissue. The study of, and therapeutic interventions in, such disorders is called rheumatology.-Terminology:...

, which he contracted in his forties. The disease caused him considerable pain and partial paralysis from locomotor ataxia
Tabes dorsalis
Tabes dorsalis is a slow degeneration of the sensory neurons that carry afferent information. The degenerating nerves are in the dorsal columns of the spinal cord and carry information that help maintain a person's sense of position , vibration, and discriminative touch.-Cause:Tabes dorsalis is...

 in the years prior to his death.

His left foot was amputated because of gangrene
Gangrene
Gangrene is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that arises when a considerable mass of body tissue dies . This may occur after an injury or infection, or in people suffering from any chronic health problem affecting blood circulation. The primary cause of gangrene is reduced blood...

, an operation followed eleven days later by his death. He died at the age of fifty-one in Paris in 1883, and was buried in the Cimetière de Passy in the city.

See also

  • Édouard Manet paintings
  • History of painting
    History of painting
    The history of painting reaches back in time to artifacts from pre-historic humans, and spans all cultures. It represents a continuous, though periodically disrupted tradition from Antiquity. Across cultures, and spanning continents and millennia, the history of painting is an ongoing river of...

  • Western painting
    Western painting
    The history of Western painting represents a continuous, though disrupted, tradition from antiquity. Until the mid-19th century it was primarily concerned with representational and Classical modes of production, after which time more modern, abstract and conceptual forms gained favor.Developments...


Further reading

  • Edouard Manet: Rebel in a Frock Coat by Beth Archer Brombert (1996), ISBN 0316109479 and ISBN 0226075443 (1997 paperback)
  • Manet by Françoise Cachin (1990 in French; English translation 1991), ISBN 0805017933
  • The Drawings of Edouard Manet by Alain de Leiris (1969), ISBN 0520015479
  • The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers by TJ Clark (1985), ISBN 0500281793 (2000 paperback edition)
  • Manet: Painter of Modern Life by Françoise Cachin (1995), ISBN 050030050X

Short introductory works:
  • Manet by Gilles Neret (2003; Taschen), ISBN 3822819492
  • Manet by John Richardson (1992; Phaidon Colour Library), ISBN 071482755X
  • Ross King. The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism. New York: Waller & Company, 2006 ISBN 0802714668.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK