Edouard Manet 1832-1883

Manet was born in Paris on January 23, 1832. He was born into a family that practiced law. His father, Auguste, was a judge and his two younger brothers followed the family tradition, Eugene becoming a civil servant and Gustave a prison inspector.

Manet was expected to be a lawyer, but found that his passion was art. His father was not happy about his choice of occupation and the two worked out a compromise for Edouard to become a naval officer. Manet did not become a naval officer --he failed his naval test twice. It was then he told his father that there was nothing to stop him from being a painter.

Manet then studied under the artist Thomas Couture for six years, although they did not get along. Manet was a painter and a printmaker, who made a transition from realism to Impressionism. He chose subjects that were from the events and styles of his time. Manet stressed painting as an arrangement of paint areas on a canvas. As an Impressionist, he he did not use broken color or sketchy brushstrokes. Instead, he worked in broad, flat areas of color. Manet wanted his paintings to describe the immediate reaction to what the eye perceived at that exact moment.

He was influenced by the works of Valasquez, Goya, Japanese printmakers and photography. Manet died at the age of 52, on April 30, 1883 of locomotor ataxia, a disorder of the nervous system.

Works by Edouard Manet featured on this website:



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