Edouard Manet (1832-1893)

Although Edouard Manet led the transition from the realist to the impressionist style in painting, he steadfastly refused to label his own work as impressionist. His influence on French painting as well as the development of modern art is credited to his unfaltering portrayal of everyday subject matter. Manet is also associated with the use of broad, simple color areas with a vivid brush technique.

Edouard Manet was born in Paris on January 23, 1832, the son of a high government official. Manet studied art in Paris with the academic French painter Thomas Couture. Manet also visited Germany, Italy and the Netherlands to study the old masters such as Frans Hals, DeigoVelazquez and Francisco Jose de Goya, all who would become principle influences on his art.

In 1886, Manet befriended the French novelist Emile Zola, who had championed Manet s art in the newspaper Figaro. Soon the duo was joined by a young group of French impressionist painters that included Claude Monet, August Renior, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pisasarro and Paul Cezanne, all who claimed to have been influenced by Manet s art and in turn influenced Manet.

Many Manet paintings did not gain recognition until late in the artist s life, when his portraits became much sought after. In 1882, one of his finest paintings, The Bar at the Folies-Bergere, received the prestigious art award the Legion of Honor--after being exhibited at the Salon.

Edouard Manet died on April 30, 1883 leaving a vast collection of not only watercolors and pastels, but also 420 oil paintings.

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