Monday, January 23, 2017

Édouard Manet (23 January 1832 - 30 April 1883)


January 23, 1832. Édouard Manet (23 January 1832 - 30 April 1883) was a French painter. One of the first 19th-century artists to approach modern and postmodern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism. In this image: Tour guides-in-training discuss 'USS "Kearsarge" off Boulogne-Fishing Boat Coming in before the Wind', painted in 1864 by Edouard Manet, during a press preview of the exhibition "Manet and the Sea" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2004.


Years ago I first learned of Édouard Manet’s model Victorine Meurent in Eunice Lipton’s compelling book Alias Olympia. Part biography and part memoir of her own evolution as an art historian, Lipton goes searching for the real Meurent amidst the layers of myth and mystery that surrounded this redheaded, working-class Parisian who became the scandalous subject of Manet’s most controversial canvases including “Olympia” (1863) and “Dejeuner sur l’herbe” (1863) as well as those more respectable ones such as “Young Lady in 1866” (1866) and “Saint Lazare Station” (1873). The book opens with a chapter entitled “History of an Encounter” and relates her own slow recognition of Meurent’s presence in Manet’s work. “I don’t remember when I first saw Victorine Meurent,” she begins, “but I wouldn’t have recognized her or known her name at the time. No one would have. She was just another naked woman in a painting.”
By James Polchin





Manet and Morisot - a tale of forbidden love and sadness. Were they lovers? We will never know but Morisot was jealous of Manet's wife and married his brother - maybe as second best. 


Bar at the Folies 



Brian Sewell: Edouard Manet (1832-1883), dubbed in his day the Father of Impressionism, was nothing of the kind. Indulgent and supportive, he bought paintings by Impressionists but he exhibited in none of their exhibitions (1874-1886) and, indeed, at 51, died well before their sequence ended. He preferred the path of long academic training, his ambition to exhibit at the Salon, the Parisian equivalent of the Royal Academy; this he achieved but not without the sour adversity of powerful Salonards and the mocking hostility of influential critics, the insiders objecting to his alla prima technique (that is painting directly on the canvas without preliminary studies, the composition adjusted and edited in progress, the brushwork free and fluent and perspective left to chance), the outsiders bemused and angrily disturbed by subjects in which Manet broke all the technical rules and ignored the traditional hierarchies that made, for example, a history painting mightily superior to a still life.

1 comment:

Carla Ives said...

This is one artist I knew of, but not many of the details, especially about his model, mentioned here. I like the works presented. I always thought of him as an Impressionist, but now. . . . maybe not so much. As it says, he spanned the gap. It's a shame he died so young. One can only imagine what else he would have produced.