The famous French artist, Édouard Manet was born into an upper class household with strong political connections, on 23rd January 1832. As an artist, Manet rejected the future originally envisioned for him, and became engrossed in the world of painting. He was a pivotal figure in the transition from artistic movement changes from Realism to Impressionism. (Image: “The Walk“)
His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia, engendered great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would recreate Impressionism and artistic oeuvres of the time.
Later on, Manet’s paintings of cafe scenes are his observations of social life in 19th Century Paris. In these works, people are depicted drinking beer, listening to music, flirting, reading, or waiting. Many of these paintings were based on sketches executed on the spot. He often visited the Brasserie Reichshoffen on Boulevard de Rochechourt, upon which he based, “A bar at the Folies Bergere” (1881 ) oil on canvas, Courtauld Gallery, London.
The last 20 years of Manet’s life saw him form bonds with other great contemporary artists and develop his own style that would be heralded as innovative and serve as a major influence for future painters. Sadly he died on 30th April, 1883.
Manet once commented: “Paint what you see, at first go. Everything else is padding”.
Clearly one of Manet pearls of wisdom!