Edouard Manet is one of the most prominent French artists of the 19th century. His work became a transitional link between realism and impressionism.
Edouard Manet was born into an aristocratic family and could enter politics or enjoy the social life. Instead, he devoted himself to painting and created a unique style.
Biography Edouard Manet
His father was a judge, and his mother was the daughter of a diplomat and goddaughter of the Swedish king. It was assumed that the son would follow in the footsteps of his father and make a career in the field of law. But Manet’s maternal uncle Edmond Fournier saw his nephew’s artistic talent early. Together they visited the Louvre and other museums. In addition to college, in which the boy’s success was mediocre, he attended drawing courses.
At the age of 16, Edouard Manet faced his father’s strong protest against further art education. A compromise solution was the maritime school. The young man went on a trip on a training ship, but he also learned to paint seascapes and portraits of crew members on it. As a result, the exams were failed, but the quality of the drawings convinced the father of the creative vocation of his son.
Since 1850, Edouard Manet visited the workshop of the academician Thomas Couture, copied old masters and made several trips around Europe. After 6 years, he opened his own workshop. Even then, the paintings of the young artist strongly deviated from the traditions of academicism and realistically reflected reality in the style of Gustave Courbet. Critics and jury members of the Salon, where the young artist dreamed of exhibiting, did not take these works well. Only the painting “Spanish Singer” received praise.
Although Manet never set himself the goal of shocking society, two of his works provoked a real scandal. These are “Breakfast on the Grass” and “Olympia” exhibited at the Salon of Outcasts. The latter caused an unprecedented flurry of indignation on the part of the respectable public, which was accustomed to seeing beautiful Venuses in the pictures.
Gradually, the artist became close to the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. But Edouard Manet did not want to exhibit with the Impressionists. He tried again and again to achieve recognition in the official Salon, understanding.
Manet died on April 30, 1883. Already seriously ill, he managed to complete his best work: The Bar at the Folies Bergère. Also in recent years, graceful still lifes have been painted. Although the artist was married to the model Suzanne Leenhoff, he did not officially recognize his son, who was born a year before the wedding, and there were no heirs left after him. Susanna and her son are depicted in the painting “Reading”.