Paris 1832 - Paris 1883

Edouard Manet was born in 1832 in a family of the Parisian high bourgeoisie.
With his father's consent, from 1850-1856 he entered the studio of Thomas Couture, an academique painter. During this period, he visited the Italian museums and travelled in Germany, Austria and Holland. In Paris, he discovered Eugène Delacroix that he met, and copied the masters exhibited at the Louvre museum.

His whole life, Manet would wish to convince at the Salon where he tried since 1859. Only one of his painting was accepted in 1861 : Le Chanteur espagnol, (1860).
Exhibited at the Salon des Refusés in 1863, his Déjeuner sur l'herbe (1863), inspired by Giorgione is of a strange style. But the subject rather shocked because of the presence of a naked woman among man dressed in contemporary outfits. He also scandalized when he proposed two years later at the Salon his Olympia (1863), an unvarnished portrait of a Parisian courtesan, a painting the critic found obscene and vulgar by its subject and manner.

In 1866, Manet joined an independent group of artists including Degas, Monet, Bazille, Pissarro and Cézanne who gathered at the Café Guerbois, near his studio at the Batignolles. Manet soon appeared as their leader.
In 1867, excluded from the Universal Exhibition, he exhibited 50 paintings in a private pavilion, like Gustave Courbet did in 1855.

Manet had to wait the 1881 Salon to won a price. He was a the time ill in his house in Rueil. He died April 30th 1883. His art began to be recognized but still partially misunderstood.

Manet's art implemented a radical break with the classic tradition opening the path of Impressionism and every schools of Modern Art.
Such as Baudelaire, he would play an intermediary role between two ages. In the early spontaneity of his way of rendering a reality directly observed in favour of the assertion of the work in itself, he offered a cradle to Modern art.


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