Edouard Manet- the Father of Modernism
Edouard Manet, the Father of Modernism, was a renowned French artist and the first honored to bridge the gap between Realism and Impressionism, the most important art movement of the 19th century.
Manet's oil paintings, drawings, and signed lithographic prints are like a treat to the eyes. His works have inspired many young artists during that era to pursue their passion for art.
Born on 23rd January 1832 in Paris, he belonged to a wealthy family, and his father wanted Manet to study Law, but Manet wanted to pursue arts as his career. But his father didn't allow him to become a painter, and to their disappointment, Manet failed the entrance exam twice for Naval College and was finally allowed to become a painter.
With the support of his uncle, Edmond Fournier, who actively encouraged him to pursue painting, he took Manet to the Louvre with him, where he got a special opportunity to take up art education under the Supervision of Thomas Couture. During that time, Manet also traveled to many places like Italy, The Netherland, and Germany to gain more knowledge and experience and got inspired by famous artists like Titian, Caravaggio, Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Diego Velazquez.
With an ample amount of experience and confidence in him, Manet decided to open his studio in 1856. Most of Manet's artworks during the mid-1850s depicted contemporary themes and everyday life situations, including bullfights, people in pavement cafes, singers, and Gypsies inspired by the works of Gustave Courbet. His brushstrokes were rather loose, and the details were quite simplified and lacked many transitional tones.
Manet also created artworks that were historical, mythological, and religious. One of his paintings that was featured at the Salon was an image of his parents. His other work, called The Spanish Singer, gained better recognition from artists who visited the Salon. Manet's paintings had a strange and less precise appearance when compared side by side with other paintings featured at the Salon. However, his unique style caused passion and interest among young artists who began to see his artworks in a whole new manner.
Manet's work and paintings
Manet paintings faced many criticisms rejections at the Salons. Mainly The Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia in 1863, he decided to exhibit his paintings in Salon, but they refused. Primarily, the artist's odd choice of subject bewildered critics, such as the appearance of nude or barely-dressed women in his paintings, shocked many people. While Olympia was the subject of parody in the popular press, it was promoted by the French avant-garde community, and the painting's significance was appreciated by artists such as Paul Cezanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and later Gauguin, and Van Gogh.
In his final years, his last work, 'A Bar at the Folies-Bergère,' displayed at the Salon in 1882, received a special award- the Legion the honor. It was one of the highest forms of recognition that he has received throughout his life. He took his last breath on 30th April 1883. He remained very passionate about art throughout his life and very often painted his beloved wife, Suzanne Leenhoff. Besides more than 400 paintings, Manet had left behind fame that could forever define him as a modern artist of all time.