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Edouard Manet - French Artist

Updated on May 16, 2009
Self portrait 1879
Self portrait 1879

Artist Edouard Manet was born on January 23, 1832 in Paris, France to a well-off family; his father was a judge who expected his son to follow in his footsteps and study law. In 1848, Manet sailed to Rio de Janiero on a training ship but twice failed the exam to join the navy. His father realized that his son would not be studying law and gave his blessing for Edouard to study art. Starting in 1840, he began studying art with Thomas Couture. He also copied the old masters in the Louvre.

In 1856, Manet opened his own studio. At the time his painting style was from the realist school. One of his first paintings after opening his own studio was The Absinthe Drinker in 1858. His most famous painting, Luncheon on the Grass from 1863 was rejected for showing by the Paris Salon but was exhibited at the Salon des Refuses.

After Manet became friends with many of the Impressionist painters such as Claude Monet and Alfred Sisley, his style moved more towards Impressionism. Artist Berthe Morisot became a close friend and she was also a big influence on his style.

In 1863, Manet married Suzanne Leenhoff. They already had a son, Leon who had been born in 1862.

The last painting that Manet completed was A Bar at the Folies-Bergère in 1882; it was accepted for exhibition at the Paris Salon.

Edouard Manet died on April 30, 1883 of syphilis and rheumatism. He had entered hospital to have a foot amputated and he died 11 days later.

Woman with Parrot 1866

On a Portrait by T.S. Eliot

On a Portrait

Among a crowd of tenuous dreams, unknown
To us of restless brain and weary feet,
Forever hurrying, up and down the street,
She stands at evening in the room alone.

Not like a tranquil goddess carved of stone
But evanescent, as if one should meet
A pensive lamia in some wood-retreat,
An immaterial fancy of one's own.

No meditations glad or ominous
Disturb her lips, or move the slender hands;
Her dark eyes keep their secrets hid from us,
Beyond the circle of our thoughts she stands.

The parrot on the bar, a silent spy,
Regards her with a patient curious eye.

T.S. Eliot about Manet’s Woman with Parrot

Berthe Morisot 1872

The Railway 1872

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère 1882


Submit a Comment

  • dali48 profile image

    Wolfgang G. Greiner 8 years ago from Germany

    If I compare Manet to Monet I prefer Monet because his paintings and motifs are more beautiful to me! (d.48)

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    I enjoy Manet's work.

  • stephhicks68 profile image

    Stephanie Hicks 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

    Wonderful - again. I love Manet.