Edouard Manet – One of the founders of Impressionism


Edouard Manet

(23 January 1832, Paris, France 30 April 1883, 1883 Paris, France) (aged 51)
Nationality: France
Category: Art workers
Occupation: Painters
Specification:  Realism, Impressionism
Unique distinction: Leading artist in the transition from realism to impressionism, a crucial figure in the rise of the Impressionist movement
Gender: Male
1. There is only one true thing: instantly paint what you see.
2. It is not enough to know your craft – you have to have feeling. Science is all very well, but for us imagination is worth far more.
3. There are no lines in nature, only areas of colour, one against another. 4. Color is a matter of taste and of sensitivity.
5. The principal person in a picture is light.
6. I paint what I see and not what others like to see.
7. When you’ve got it, you’ve got it. When you haven’t, you begin again. All the rest is humbug.
8. Concision in art is a necessity and an elegance. The verbose painter bores: who will get rid of all these trimmings?
9. You must always remain master of the situation and do what you please. No school tasks, ah, no! No tasks.
10. Every time I paint, I throw myself into the water in order to learn how to swim.
11. I need to work to feel well.

Achievements and contributions:

Social and professional position: He was an outstanding French impressionist painter.
The main contribution to (what is known): Edouard Manet was the most important and influential artist of modern life. His own style would be heralded as innovative and serve as a major influence for future painters.


 His works comprise 430 oil paintings, 89 pastels, and more than 400 works on paper.
Manet’s work is considered “early modern”, and he has been universally regarded as the Father of Modernism (Beatrice Farwell).
1. He is credited with popularizing the alla prima method, which was adopted by the Impressionists, and became the prevalent method of painting in oils.
2. Manet’s disregard for traditional modelling and perspective and choices of new subject matter, focusing on modern, urban subjects.
Creative style:  He was a revolutionary in art, pertly and courageously applied paradoxical elements in his art, implemented the brilliant alla prima painterly technique and never cultivated pleinairism seriously and remained a studio painter. This bold new style paved the way for the revolutionary work of impressionism and modern art in general.
Major works: The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe) (1863), Olympia( 1863), Young Flautist or The Fifer (Le Fifre)(1866), The Fife Player (1866), A portrait of Zola (1868), The Balcony (1869), A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (Le Bar aux Folies-Bergère) (1882).

Career and personal life:

Origin:  Édouard Manet was born in Paris on 23 January 1832. He was the son of Auguste Manet, a high-ranking judge, and Eugénie-Desirée Fournier, the daughter of a diplomat and the goddaughter of the Swedish crown prince Charles Bernadotte, from whom the Swedish monarchs are descended.
Education: In 1841 he enrolled at secondary school, the Collège Rollin. From 1850 to 1856, Manet studied under the academic painter Thomas Couture.

Career highlights:

 In 1856, after six years as a student, Manet finally opened his own studio. Manet’s public career lasted 22 years from 1861 until his death in 1883. Adopting the current style of realism he painted “The Absinthe Drinker” (1858–59), which was a fine example of this style.
His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia, both 1863, were considered the most shocking works and caused a great impact on the young painters who would create Impressionism. They also marked the genesis of modern art.
Later Manet painted his most luminous plein-air pictures, Boating (1874), The grand canal of Venice (Blue Venice), 1875, The Rue Mosnier with Flags, 1878.
Manet’s famous cafe scenes painted in 1978 included At the Cafe , The Beer Drinkers and The Cafe Concert.
In his last years, Manet painted many small-scale  Bunch of Asparagus and The Lemon (both 1880).  He completed his last major works: Jeanne (Spring) (1881), A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882).

Personal life:  

From 1853 to 1856, Manet visited Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, during which time he was influenced by the Dutch painter Frans Hals, and the Spanish artists Diego Velázquez and Francisco José de Goya.
After the death of his father in 1862, Manet married a Dutch-born woman Suzanne Leenhoff 1863.  She was a piano teacher of Manet’s age.  By the time she and Manet officially married, they had been involved for nearly 10 years and had given birth to his child before their marriage. Their son was born in 1852 and named Leon Keoella Leenhoff.
Manet became friends with the Impressionists Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro. He was influenced by the Impressionists, especially Monet and Morisot. Mane was short, handsome, witty and kind and generous toward his friends.
He was suffering from locomotor ataxia. In April 1883, his left foot was amputated because of gangrene, and he died eleven days later at only 51 years of age in Paris.
He is buried in the Passy Cemetery in the city.
Zest: The Paris Salon rejected his early work. The Luncheon on the Grass was for an exhibition in 1863 but Manet exhibited it at the Salon des Refusés (Salon of the Rejected) later in the year.