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Edouard Manet


Western art is believed to have begun in the ancient Egypt and the Middle East civilization. However, it started to develop around the third millennium especially following the development of some of the European countries. However, since its conception and birth, art has continued to evolve from one country to another and person to another. Population in the ancient Greece, for instance, found western art and later passed it to the Roman. Consequently, religion was not spared. Christianity, for example, made significant developments in the art world. However, there were also some prominent individuals whose contributions to the field of art continue to affect the current generations. Among the many intelligent and famous artists who transformed at was Eduard Manet. He alongside other artists such as Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, and Claude Monet are often usually associated with the Impressionism era. This research article is going to provide some background information about Edouard Manet. Additionally, it is going to look at some of his exemplary works that made him stand out among other artists and the reasons as to why he is still celebrated update.

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History of Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet was born on 29th of January in the year 1832. He was born into a high-class family, and his mother was called Eugenie-Desire who was also the crown prince of Sweden. Edouard Manet father was a magistrate and worked in the Ministry of Justice. Since both his parents had been well known and held important titles in the society, he faced a lot of challenges pursuing his dream. His mother, for instance, wanted him to continue the tradition and become a prominent figure in the society as his father. In the early 1830s, art was not a respected profession because many people opted to venture into other careers that were termed as hard. So as to avoid many conflicts with his parents, Edouard Manet joined the Navy and became a sailor. This gave him the opportunity of traveling around the world. However, because this was not his passion, he was not very happy with his voyage, upon his return, he apprenticed himself with the likes of Thomas Couture with whom he traveled with to countries like Germany, Netherlands and Italy. He drew his artistic inspiration from the likes of Diego Velazquez and Frans Hals. After completing his studies with Tomas Couture, he enrolled for his art classes at Ecole des Beaux. Unlike his earlier experiences whereby he used to make his painting, this learning experience gave him the opportunity to develop his painting skills more efficiently. He officially began his career in the year 1858 with Absinthe Dribker. Four years later he painted the Spanish guitar player and even though it was magnificent, this art did not bring him much fame. His moment to shine, however, came when he drew the Dejuner Sur L’herbe. From this time, his entire life changed because he was able to attain international recognition.

Edouard Manet studied for his art major for about six years after which he managed to open his studio. He was among the early artists of his ear who made attempts at realism. However, he was not impressed with realism although his work was amazing. In his future designs, he seemed to be more interested in impressionism. This was a movement in painting that had started in the late 1860s and used the effects of light and movement. It was very rich in colors. Unlike other previous artists, they were more attracted to the modern way of life and as a result, they used to draw modern life including that of cities. Additionally, these category of painters were able to capture enough audience because they capture landscapes and other scenes of the middle-class people.  His decision on whom to draw came from the day to day experiences. For this reason, it was very common to find people such as famous singers, gypsies, and beggars converge at his canvas to have a glimpse of his work. It was his unconventional focus that when combined with the mature knowledge that he had gained as he traveled the world that made his paintings astonishingly beautiful and others thus found it to be very impressive.

Why Edouard Manet

From an individual’s perspective, Edouard Manet was the most influential and important artist of his era. Several things prepared him for his future career. For instance, because he came from a well-off family, he was not easily intimidated by others, on the other hand, he still led a bohemian type of life and wanted to be recognized for his individual success. One thing that made Edouard Manet stood out was his ideology about art. Some of his key ideas were that he believed that modernity lies above all.

He thus sought to inject new content into the old painting by changing the important conventional features. Additionally, Edouard Manet was not satisfied with status quo. He is usually accredited for popularizing the all prima design of the painting. In this case, while the old technique used to build up layers, he took another approach, he laid down the hue and looked for another which had the closest resemblance. The approach was later adopted by many impressionists who found it effective in capturing the atmosphere and the effects of light while they were painting items such as the door.

The much-celebrated concept of flatness might have been introduced by Edouard Manet. This is because he is the one who brought about the loose handling of paints and this in turn led to the emergence of the flatness in his picture. The above example thus indicates that he was a revolutionist. On the other hand, his humility despite coming from a rich and able family astonished many. Edouard Manet has continued to inspire many new and upcoming artist that discipline and determination are very essential when it comes to meeting the specific career objectives. His life thus proves the essence of respect and patience when it comes to art. In modern art practice, many upcoming artists are usually after fame, yet they are not patience enough to taste the bitter truth. The life of Edouard Manet thus serves as a good example for many people to emulate.

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Edouard Manet Artworks

One of the most important art that was designed by Edouard Manet was known as the Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe. He painted it in the year 1863. In this painting, one of the things that are worth noting is that his composition is influenced by Raimondi’s engraving and Renaissance artist by the name Giorgione. This image elicited public outrage because he drew an unidealized image of a nude female who was engaged with two other men. Critics to his work stated that it was ethical. At first, the Paris Salon rejected the exhibition but was later accepted. His other painting was known as the Olympia. Here Manet paraphrased an already existing work piece that was based on Titan’s Venus. Similarly, this one also created a lot of scandal because of nudity. Of great significance in this art was how he was able to integrate painting flatness and this resulted in the image being image being less voluptuous. About his artistic skills, it is also important to note that Manet mainly used loose brush stroke and majored in contemporary paintings. In his early life, Edouard Manet had started with religious drawings. He also drew about historic painting such as those of Christ with angels and myths. He valued his friends and in one some incidence he would allow them to act as models in the paintings. Edouard Manet did not confine his works to old images and paintings. His works also depicted social and political activities. In one painting, he drew the upper class enjoying themselves. Additionally, in response to modern life events, he also included war paintings. An example of such was his famous painting that captured the American civil war and the execution of Emperor Maximillian. During his stay in Paris, Edouard Manet depicted many scenes of the streets of Paris, and he drew the railway and other beautiful sceneries. He married Susanne in the year 1863 and later died of syphilis because there were no effective treatments.


Even though Edouard Manet was born from a well off family and his father was a magistrate, he was focused and determined to pursue his life goals as an artist. When a young man, Edouard Manet joined the navy in order to avoid his mother’s. His mother wanted him to follow his father’s path and become a lawyer, but he managed to convince her otherwise. Edouard Manet made a significant impact in arts. Among his notable contributions were that he was among the founders of Impressionalism. This era was marked with increased painting of natural and artificial features such as landscapes and city building. His flat painting is still being used in the modern world. Additionally, his greatest impact was perhaps his revolutionary and bold character which continues to inspire new artists up to date.

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