Édouard Manet

1832 - 1883 · France

Artist biography

A must-see painter of the 19th century, Edouard Manet is a French artist whose work embodies the revival of painting, breaking with academic classicism. Presented as an impressionist painter, he is above all the figurehead of modernism. Born on 12th January 1883 into a bourgeois family, Manet was fascinated by painting at a young age. His parents disapproved of his interest, at the age of 16 and after two failures in the entrance exam to the Naval School, his taste for painting developed. He made many drawings and got into art. Edouard Manet trained as a painter in the studio of the artist and renowned professor, Thomas Couture, and studied there for six years. His style influenced by academic techniques is quickly released towards a more personal style. The taste for realism and contemporary life became subjects of choice, so the trips he made following his break with Couture allowed him to develop his artistic audacity. Edouard Manet realizes his works from sketches made outdoors and uses the alla prima technique, meaning painting "all at once," with wet layers of oil paint applied on top of existing wet layers rather than the traditional way of painting by building up layers of glaze on dried layers of paint. The textual and visual dynamism of his canvases results from an instinctive and rapid brushstroke, leaving the flat area of ​​matter visible. His unconventional portrait style shows the subject with a detached look such as in his greatest artwork Olympia (1863). Just like, Manet challenges codes, he expresses this spirit through an asymmetrical and non-idealized style of pictorial composition, "There's no symmetry in nature. One eye is never the same as the other. There's always a difference. We all have a more or less crooked nose and an irregular mouth. ". Manet is also a subject of debate and controversy through his nudes paintings representing real women by portraying subjects such as upper-class prostitute instead of classical figures. Painter of Parisian urbanism, Manet painted Parisian city life and contemporary urban themes. His color palette is just as liberated by his taste for black and used it masterfully, to direct the viewer's eye to the more important parts of the painting. Manet aims to produce the illusion of immediacy and freshness rather than rigid aesthetics. By the late 1870s his works were lauded both by the Salon and his peers. Edouard Manet died on April 30, 1883 in Paris, France. Today, his paintings are regarded as groundbreaking and countable masterpieces for Art History. Manet’s artworks are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, and the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

Édouard Manet

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