Thursday, June 25, 2009


Self Portrait With A Palette

Edouard Manet was often regarded as the father of modern painting. Spurned and ridiculed by official art circles, he was a father figure to the young avant-garde. He portrayed modern urban and suburban art, a subject often chosen by artists of the day. It was at the Paris Salon that, for over 20 years, he sought academic and public acceptance for his original, brilliant and enigmatic canvases. Because of the furore that his works created at the Salon, he was the first artist whose career was influenced by journalists.
A combination of intimacy and aloofness. Often the main subject will be surrounded by action and drama but is aloof and distant, almost bored with the situation.
Thoughout his life he took an active part in Parisian life, particularly in cafe life with friends Zola and Baudelaire and the Impressionist circle. Manet never exhibited with the Impressionists but they saw his paintings as an inspiration.
(© 2006, Direct Art Australia)

Born into the ranks of the Parisian bourgeoisie on January 29. His Mother, Eugenie-Desiree Fournier, was a woman of refinement and god daughter of Charles Bernadotte, the Crown Prince of Sweden. Edouard's father, Auguste Manet, was a magistrate and judge.
decided to be a painter. His Uncle Charles Fournier encouraged Manet's appreciation for the arts and often took him and his childhood friend, Antonin Proust, on outings to the Louvre
after serving in the merchant marines, Manet entered the studio of Thomas Couture where he studied until 1856. He was influenced by the old masters, particulary Velazquez, Goya and also Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and Giorgione.

Copy after Tintoretto, Self Portrait
oil on canvas 61x50cm
Musee des Beaux-Arts

Executed when the artist was twenty-two years old, this is Manet's first dated painting. He had joined Thomas Couture's studio to study painting. The choice of this work seems to be Manet's own idea. Manet had told his biographer that he thought this the most beautiful portrait in the world and one he always stopped to admire when visiting the Louvre.
Manet's copy is the same size as Tintoretto's, but oddly he also copied the Latin inscription which was later removed during a restoration by the Louvre.
He met Baudelaire and began his career with The Absinthe Drinker (6th picture in the exhibition), a painting depicting a debauched and solitary man amongst the shadows of the back streets of Paris.
painted Spanish Guitar Player (7th picture in the exhibition), reflected the Parisian love of "all things Spanish" and was one of Manet's first works to be accepted by the Salon. İn the same year he painted the Old Musician, portray a darker aspect of Parisian life which was quite removed from Manet's circle, but nonetheless very real. Music in the Tuileries (9th picture in the exhibition list) peopled with Manet's friends and family celebrates fashionable society.
Manet put great emphasis on Salon acceptance. In fact, he believed that success as an artist could only be obtained through recognition at the Salon. But, the Salon jury of 1863 refused Luncheon on the Grass (8th picture in the exhibition). To counter these refusals, the Salon des Refuses was established and Luncheon on the Grass was exhibited there. He also painted Olympia (13th picture in the exhibition) this year and created a scandal.
The Fifer (1st picture in the exhibition) refused by the Salon jury. Emile Zola defended him in a controversial article for the periodical L'Evènement.

The Fifer
From the Artchive

Brilliant as this picture is to modern eyes it is not so startling as it appeared to Manet's contemporaries, accustomed to the masking of colour by the veil of heavy chiaroscuro. Daumier, for example, used to near-monochrome effect in painting, thought Le Fifre resembled a playing-card, the flatness and brightness of colour giving rise to his comparison. A concealed element in the design is the influence of the Japanese print which was so marked on French painting in general in the second half of the nineteenth century. It is to be traced here in the almost flat areas of colour against a plain background. Colour seems on the point of escaping from a subservient descriptive role into the dominant factor it was later to become. Except among the few, this picture shared the unpopularity that previous works by Manet had suffered and was refused at the Salon of 1866. The refusal brought Emile Zola to the artist's defense in L'Evenement but Zola's assertion that he was `so convinced that M. Manet would be one of the masters of tomorrow that he would think it a good stroke of business, if he had money enough, to buy all its canvases now' infuriated the readers, and their anger caused the editor to dispense with Zola's services as critic. The novelist returned to the attack elsewhere with a longer eulogy. His description of the fifer as `le petit bonhomme' who `puffs away with all his heart and soul' was a literary approach but his polemics served to keep the issue of aesthetic freedom a living force for the younger generation.
(Copyright © 2009

Woman with Parrot
From The Artchive)

Zola published a longer article on Manet, who that year exhibited his work in an independent pavilion at the Paris World's Fair.

Races at Longchamp
From The Artchive

Manet painted The Execution of Maximilian (15th picture in the exhibition) reaches out to Goya's Third of May but despite its masterly influence the painting was banned from being exhibited in Paris due to the "Frenchness" of the executioners costume. Political events between the years 1867-1871 were turbulent ones for Paris, and the Franco-Prussian war left Paris besieged and defeated.
Manet sent his family south to protect them from the fighting in Paris and signed on as a gunner in the National Guard.
The dealer Paul Durand-Ruel began buying his work.

The Railway, 1872
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

He could hardly paint because of his ilness. From 1879 to 1882 Manet participated annually at the Salon.

Le serveuse de bocks (The Waitress)
From The Artchive

He was given a solo exhibition at Georges Charpentier's new gallery, La Vie Moderne, Paris
In his last great masterpiece, Bar at the Folies-Bergère (38th picture in the exhibition), Manet returns again to studio painting. He was decorated with the Légion d'Honneur.

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère
(Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère), 1882
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lilacs in a Vase
From The Artchive

Manet died in Paris, on April 30
A memorial exhibition of his work took place at the Ecole des Beaux-Art.

The grave of Manet at Passy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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