Edouard Manet

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Edouard Manet

French Impressionist painter, draftsman and printmaker

Born circa 1/23/1832 - Died circa 4/30/1883

Born in Paris (Departement de Ville de Paris, Ile-de-France, France)

Died in Paris (Departement de Ville de Paris, Ile-de-France, France)

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The Spanish Singer


Oil on canvas

147.3 x 114.3 cms | 57 3/4 x 45 ins

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan, United States


circa 1866-circa 1875

Oil on canvas

61 x 74 cms | 24 x 29 ins

Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France

The Balcony


Oil on canvas

169 x 125 cms | 66 1/2 x 49 ins

Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France



Oil on canvas

147.8 x 111 cms | 58 x 43 1/2 ins

Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, United States



Oil on canvas

149 x 115 cms | 58 1/2 x 45 1/4 ins

Private collection, ,

Corner of a Café­Concert


Oil on canvas

98 x 79 cms | 38 1/2 x 31 ins

National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Chez Le Père Lathuile

At Le Père Lathuile


Oil on canvas

92 x 112 cms | 36 x 44 ins

Private collection, ,

In the Conservatory


Oil on canvas

115 x 150 cms | 45 1/4 x 59 ins

Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany

Portrait of Émilie Ambre in the role of Carmen


Oil on canvas

95 x 75 cms | 37 1/4 x 29 1/2 ins

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, United States



Oil on canvas

73 x 51 cms | 28 1/2 x 20 ins

Private collection, ,

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MANET, ÉDUARD (1832-1883), French painter, regarded as the most important master of Impressionism (q.v.), was born in Paris on the 23rd of January 1832. After spending some time under the tuition of the Abbé Poiloup, he entered the College Rollin, where his passion for drawing led him to neglect all his other lessons. His studies finished in 1848, he was placed on board the ship Guadeloupe, voyaging to Rio de Janeiro. On his return he first studied in Couture's studio (1851), where his independence often infuriated his master. For six years he was an intermittent visitor to the studio, constantly taking leave to travel, and going first to Cassel, Dresden, Vienna and Munich, and afterwards to Florence, Rome and Venice, where he made some stay. Some important drawings date from this period, and one picture, A Nymph Surprised. Then, after imitating Couture, more or less, in The Absinthe-drinker (1866), and Courbet in The Old Musician, he devoted himself almost exclusively to the study of the Spanish masters in the Louvre. A group was already gathering round him: Whistler, Legros, and Fantin-Latour haunted his studio in the Rue Guyot. His Spaniard playing the Guitar, in the Salon of 1861, excited much animadversion. Delacroix alone defended Manet, but, this notwithstanding, his Fifer of the Guard and Déjeuner sur l'herbe (Luncheon on the Grass) were refused by the jury. Then the Salon des Refusés was opened, and round Manet a group was formed, including [Felix] Bracquemond, Legros, Jongkind, Whistler, Harpignies and Fantin-Latour, the writers Zola, [Edmond] Duranty and [Théodore] Duret, and Astruc the Sculptor. In 1863, when an amateur, M. Martinet, lent an exhibition-room to Manet, the painter exhibited fourteen pictures; and then, in 1864, contributed again to the Salon The Angels at the Tomb and A Bullfight. Of this picture he afterwards kept nothing but the toreador in the foreground, and it is now known as The Dead Man. In 1865 he sent to the Salon Christ reviled by the Soldiers and the famous Olympia, which was hailed with mockery and laughter. It represents a nude woman reclining on a couch, behind which is seen the head of a negl-ess who carries a bunch of flowers. A black cat at her feet emphasizes the whiteness of the sheet on which the woman lies. This work (now in the Louvre) was presented to the Luxembourg by a subscription started by Claude Monet (1890). It was hung in 1897 among the Caillebotte collection, which included the Balcony, and a study of a female head called Angelina. This production, of a highly independent individuality, secured Manet's exclusion from the Salon of 1866, so that he determined to exhibit his pictures in a place apart during the Great Exhibition of 1867. In a large gallery in the Avenue de l'Alma, half of which was occupied by Courbet, he hung no fewer than fifty paintings. Only one important picture was absent, The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian; its exhibition was prohibited by the authorities. From that time, in spite of the fierce hostility of some adversaries, Manet's energy and that of his supporters began to gain the day. His Young Girl (Salon of 1868) was justly appreciated, as well as the portrait of Lola; but the Balcony and the Breakfast (1869) were as severely handled as the Olympia had been. In 1870 he exhibited The Music Lesson and a portrait of Mile E. Gonzales. Not long before the Franco-Prussian War, Manet, finding himself in the country, with a friend, for the first time discovered the true value of open air to the effects of painting in his picture The Garden, which gave rise to the open air or plein air school. After fighting as a gunner, he returned to his family in the Pyrenees, where he painted The Battle of the Kearsarge and the Alabama. His Bon Bock (1873) created a furoré. But in 1875, as in 1869, there was a fresh outburst of abuse, this time of the Railroad, Polichinelle, and Argenteuil, and the jury excluded the artist, who for the second time arranged an exhibition in his studio. In 1877 his Hamlet was admitted to the Salon, but Nana was rejected. The following works were exhibited at the Salon of 1881: In the Conservatory, In a Boat, and the portraits of [Henri] Rochefort and Proust; and the Cross of the Legion of Honor was conferred on the painter on the 31st of December in that year. Manet died in Paris on the 20th of April 1883. He left, besides his pictures, a number of pastels and engravings. He illustrated Les Chats by Champfleury, and Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven.

See: Zola, Manet (Paris, 1867); E. Bazire, Manet (Paris, 1884); G. Gejlroy, La Vie artistique (1893). (H. FR.)

Source: Entry on the artist in the 1911 Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.