Édouard Manet

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The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe), 1863
Olympia, 1863
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère), 1882

Édouard Manet (French pronunciation: [edwaʁ manɛ]; 23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883) 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 to Impressionism.

His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) and Olympia, 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.

Contents

Biography

Born into an upper class household with strong political connections, Manet rejected the future originally envisioned for him, only to become 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, 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.[1] In 1845, at the advice of his uncle, Manet enrolled in a special course of drawing where he met Antonin Proust, future Minister of Fine Arts and subsequent life-long friend.

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